Amazon to open media development centre in London

Amazon will combine the development teams of two U.K. tech companies it acquired

Amazon will combine the development teams of two U.K. media companies it acquired last year to create a new Digital Media Development Centre in London, the company said on Monday.

The Internet giant said it will merge the design and development teams of both companies in an eight-floor, 47,000 square foot center in London to work on the creation of interactive digital services for TVs, game consoles, smartphones and PCs. The engineers will also work to improve the experience on Amazon's websites, the company added.

In February last year, Amazon bought Lovefilm, a European film subscription service with over 2 million members in the UK, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway. By July 2011, Amazon had also acquired Pushbutton, a company that designs and build user interfaces to enable viewers to select and watch media content across a range of different devices and platforms.

Lovefilm was one of Pushbutton's clients and together they worked on a variety of digital innovations, including Lovefilm Instant, which offers members unlimited streaming of movies and TV series from £4.99 (USD$7.77) per month on over 280 Internet-enabled devices including PCs, PlayStations, the iPad and the Xbox 360, Amazon said in a news release.

London has been pushing to become "Britain's answer to Silicon Valley" since November 2010 by promoting east London as a Tech City. The number of digital companies that have set up in east London's Tech City has grown from 226 to 600 over the past three years, the city of London announced in April.

Loek covers all things tech for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

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