Amazon finally buying Lovefilm

Amazon's long-awaited bid to buy DVD and game rental service Lovefilm - in which it already holds shares - outright appears to be finally going ahead, after months of speculation.

The deal, which will see Lovefilm become a fully-owned subsidiary of online retail giant Amazon, is being reported by TheNextWeb as due to complete in the first quarter of 2011.

While figures have not been released by either company, rumours of a buyout in September of last year claimed that Amazon was looking to spend around £200 million on buying the remaining 58 per cent of Lovefilm's shares - a figure that appears to have come from a valuation carried out in 2009.

Whether the current deal is on the same terms is not yet known: since then, Lovefilm has gone from strength to strength, launching popular streaming services in addition to its bread-and-butter discs-by-mail rental model - including announcing deals with Samsung to bring Lovefilm streaming to its range of HDTV and Blu-ray players and with Sony to add the functionality to its PlayStation 3 console.

Neither Amazon nor Lovefilm have issued a statement on the reported deal - but with so many previous rumours having come to naught, it'll be interesting to see if the two companies are finally tying the knot.