Apple, Amazon vie for TV viewers
Both companies are expected to announce new services making TV shows and movies available to subscribers.
Apple is expected to unveil a revamped version of its Apple TV service at a San Francisco event Wednesday. Amazon.com is working on a similar idea.
The service would include offerings of favorite TV shows and movies streamed over the Internet, The Wall Street Journal said this afternoon.
The announcement would come as part of an event expected to unveil an Internet version of Apple's iTunes and a tweaking of Apple's iPod lineup.
Apple was up 0.3% to $243.20 today and additional 0.3% to $243.82 after hours.
Not to be outdone, Amazon.com is expected to unveil a similar service in the near future, the Journal said.
In recent weeks and months, Amazon.com has proposed a Web-based subscription service to several major media companies, including General Electric's (GE) NBC Universal, Time Warner (TWX) and Viacom (VIA), among others, sources told the Journal.
Amazon's service would be viewable on the Web or through devices that play TV shows and movies that Amazon already sells.
The devices would include Internet-connected television sets and Microsoft's (MSFT) Xbox 360 video console. (Microsoft is the publisher of MSN Money.)
Amazon wants to have its service available by the holiday season with a projected price of $79 a year, the Journal said.
A big goal for both is to take business from Netflix (NFLX), which has been developing an online presence as well.
Netflix was up 2% in regular trading to $125.52 and an additional 2% after hours to $128.
The company was cited as a possible takeover target by The Street.Com.
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[BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: +0.50. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +5.30. Equity futures point to small gains at the open.
Asian markets finished mixed amid a quiet overnight trade.
Economic data from the region was limited to Japan's trade balance, which posted a record March trade deficit of JPY1.71 trln (JPY1.27 trln expected, JPY1.18 trln previous) on a 1.8% rise in exports and 18.1% jump in imports.
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