Amazon Prime customers in five European countries learned on Tuesday to expect double-digit price increases for the platform’s expedited delivery service.
Amazon said the increases were due to increased operating costs as fuel prices have soared.
From mid-September, customers in France will have to pay 43 percent more for an annual subscription. Italians face an increase of 38.6 percent, Spaniards 30.3 percent and British and Germans 20 percent.
Price increases for Prime, which includes access to its Prime Video service in addition to fast delivery, rise to €49.90 in Italy and Spain. It costs 89.90 euros in France and Germany and 95 pounds (around 112 euros) in Great Britain.
This makes the service cheaper than in the US, where it rose 17 percent to $139 a year in February.
While the price hikes are much higher than inflation, analysts believe the service is costing Amazon much more than it’s charging and is designed to entice and retain customers.
Market research firm Foxintelligence estimated last year that, on average, European Prime members bought twice as much from Amazon as non-members.
A handful of disgruntled customers announced their intention to shut down the service on Twitter.
However, Amazon representatives in France were unimpressed.
“What we could see in the United States was that there wasn’t an opt-out wave because more and more services are being offered through Prime and it still allows consumers to make very significant savings,” the company said.
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