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Amazon teams with Lovefilm: Post Office next?

Amazon is acquiring and developing left, right and centre. Probably the next thing it should look to buy is a postal service. No, really

Amazon has just announced it intends to team up with Lovefilm -- a UK-based DVD and games rental-by-post service -- to hitch it up with Amazon's own rental service. The deal is subject to regulator approval, and Amazon will be promoting Lovefilm on its UK and German sites.

This news comes after Amazon announced the acquisition of Audible, the deals with the complete roster of major record labels for DRM-free music and the launch of the Kindle ebook reader. But I'm left thinking, "What next for Amazon?"

The company is acquiring and developing left, right and centre. Probably the next thing it should look to buy is a postal service. No, really. It could eliminate the need to pay for free delivery and offer a cheaper alternative to running unlimited delivery deals with Amazon Prime.

Or perhaps becoming an on-demand publishing house such as Lulu.com -- the company that lets you print books on-demand, complete with covers and ISBN registrations. This would allow Amazon not just to ship books in printed, audible and digital form, but even publish them too.

It's an exciting company to be watching right now and one that seems hell-bent on becoming an absolute behemoth in some significant product areas. Incidentally, if you're interested in reading an in-depth history of Amazon, check out the terrific book Amazonia by James Marcus. I read it in two sittings -- it's that interesting.