Netflix expands in Europe: An American in Paris

A transatlantic tryst with a happy ending

AMERICAN internet giants such as Google and Amazon are the target of much criticism in Europe these days, accused of avoiding taxes, invading privacy and competing unfairly with local firms. The latest transatlantic tech firm to ruffle feathers is Netflix, a fast-growing company that offers streaming video on demand (SVOD) over the internet and which has already got conventional broadcasters and pay-TV companies worried back home in America.Netflix has been signing up viewers in Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands and the Nordic countries; and next week it starts invading the continental heartland, beginning with France. Television companies, telecoms firms and other on-demand video providers fear for their customer bases and profits.Canal+, a French pay-TV firm that launched its own SVOD service three years ago, called CanalPlay, is rustling up new programmes and adding other features to get viewers to stay. Sky Deutschland, a German pay-TV firm, has slashed the monthly charge for its SVOD service, Snap, to €3.99 ($5.16)—it had previously cost up to €9.90. Maxdome, a video on demand (VOD)…

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