You’ve got to pay up to stay primo. Amazon is increasing the cost of Prime membership for subscribers across Europe. Rate hikes are set to start in September and vary depending on country. In the United Kingdom, the annual fee for a prime membership will jump 20% from £79 to £95. But in France, the increase is even more dramatic, with the annual membership cost going up 43% from €49 to €69.90, as told to Gizmodo in an emailed statement from Amazon.
Other affected countries include Germany, Spain, and Italy, where prices are set to change as follows:
- Germany- 30% increase from €69 to €89.90
- Spain- 39% increase from €36 to €49.90
- Italy- 39% increase from €36 to €49.90
Additionally, for users who opt to pay their prime subscription cost every month instead of once a year, those rates will be increasing by €1/month in France, Germany, Span and Italy. And £1/month in the UK. In an email to customers, Amazon cited the increase in costs due to inflation as the reason for the price jumps. Granted, in France, where the cost of a Prime membership is inflating 43%, the overall year-to-year inflation rate for consumer goods in June was 6.5%— so it seems unlikely that inflation is entirely to blame.
As to why the increases vary from country to country, Amazon told Gizmodo:
There are a number of factors that affect the price of Prime in any one locale, including both general and material costs that are impacted by a variety of things including (but not limited to) inflation. Those external factors include things like costs of goods and increasing costs of shipping.
Meanwhile, U.S. Prime membership fees were increased back in February, when the annual service cost went up by $20 to the current rate of $139/year. In that announcement, the company blamed rising worker wages and transportation costs for the price hike. Even so, the company has said that the price increase didn’t lose them subscribers.
“From what we have seen in the United States, there has been no opt-out phenomenon because more and more services are being provided via Prime and this service still allows consumers to make extremely significant savings,” an Amazon spokesperson told Bloomberg.
Yet even with that increase, a couple months later in April the company reported its first quarterly loss in seven years, with a net loss of $3.8 billion. Operating income, net sales, and cash flow also fell. Amazon is set to report its second quarterly earnings of the year on Wednesday.