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Amazon goes global with video service in challenge to Netflix
[LOS ANGELES] Amazon.com Inc is preparing to take its video streaming service worldwide in a challenge to Netflix Inc, the world's largest online TV network.
The world's biggest online retailer, which currently offers its video service in only a handful countries, announced the plans Thursday in a blog post about The Grand Tour, a lavish new reality show featuring the former stars of BBC's popular Top Gear.
"In December, the show will premiere in 200 countries and territories around the world, exclusively on Amazon," the company wrote on its website. Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos also mentioned the plans on Twitter.
The move marks the biggest challenge yet for Netflix, which now operates in about 190 countries completing its international rollout. Amazon, based in Seattle, has spent billions of dollars licensing programming and producing original TV shows and movies as part of its Prime service.
Customers who pay U$99 a year for free shipping and other benefits get access to a library of new and older programming at no additional cost.
Sally Fouts, an Amazon spokeswoman, declined to comment. The Wall Street Journal reported on Amazon's plans earlier Thursday.