Amazon has announced that it's increasing the prices for its Prime subscription service in Europe, with fees rising by as much as 43% in some markets.
The announcement comes some six months after the e-commerce giant announced a similar price increase in the U.S., where the annual price jumped 17% from $119 to $139.
The latest Amazon Prime price hikes vary greatly between countries in Europe, with French customers paying an extra 43% on top of the current €49 they pay each year. In Germany, Amazon's second-biggest market after the U.S., subscribers will pay 30% more on the €69 they pay at present, while in the U.K. — Amazon's third-biggest market — an extra 20% will be added to the £75 fee.
The new prices will come into effect September 15, 2022, and will impact all new members and renewals.
Amazon customers have started receiving emails confirming the price changes for their market, with U.K. customers receiving this message through the night:
Thank you for being a valued member of Amazon Prime. We are writing to you about an upcoming change to your membership.
As of 15 September 2022, the price of the monthly Prime membership will increase from £7.99 to £8.99, and the price of the annual Prime membership will increase from £79 to £95. The new price will apply to renewals starting 15 September 2022. You can view your next renewal date, manage, or cancel your membership by visiting your account.
We continue to focus on making Prime even more valuable for members. This is the first time we have changed the price of Prime in the UK since 2014. During this time, we have significantly increased the number of products available with unlimited, fast Prime delivery; added and expanded ultra-fast fresh grocery delivery; and added more high-quality digital entertainment, including TV, movies, music, games, and books. Prime Video in particular has increased the number of TV series and movies on offer, including Amazon Originals, as well as live sports coverage, such as the Premier League and Autumn Nations Series.
Perks and inflation
Amazon said its U.S. price increases earlier this year was due to its expansion of Prime member benefits and an increase in costs, including wages and transportation. Amazon is painting a similar picture in Europe, where it says it has added a host of new perks to the Prime subscription since the last time it increased the prices, such as same-day grocery delivery. According to some reports, Amazon also pointed to "increased inflation and operating costs" as a driving force behind these increases.
This represents the first Prime price jump in eight years for U.K. users, while in Germany subscribers last saw their Prime fee change back in 2016.
With another six weeks until the new prices take effect, this could lead to a surge in annual signups for Prime as customers look to lock-in the current price for another 12 months.
Amazon also recently agreed to make it less confusing for customers in Europe to cancel their Prime subscription.