By Ben Rooney
Of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Netflix Inc. (NFLX), the U.S. streaming and movie rental service, is to launch in the U.K. and Ireland, the company announced Monday.
The company hasn't said how much it will charge, though in the U.S. customers pay $7.99 a month for unlimited movies and TV episodes streamed over the Internet to PCs, Macs and TVs.
The company said further details about the service, including pricing, content and supported devices, will be announced closer to launch in early 2012.
The move will put the company in direct competition to LoveFilm, which has more than 1.6 million subscribers in the U.K. and Europe.
It will also be up against YouTube and Sony Corp. (6758.TO), both of which recently announced their own services.
Netflix has been streaming to U.S. members since 2007, adding Canada in 2010 and 43 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean in September 2011.
Netflix has had a rocky ride recently. Its shares plummeted from nearly $300 in early July to about $112 as of Friday after a series of embarrassing missteps: the company raised prices, said it was splitting in two and then, after customer outrage, reversed course on the split, but stuck with higher prices. The selloff has brought an ugly--and abrupt--end to the winning streak of one of the market's best performers.
-By Ben Rooney, The Wall Street Journal