Amazon Mulling ‘Prime’ Price Hike

Cost could increase from $20 to $40

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Amazon announced Thursday that it might increase the cost of Amazon Prime subscriptions, as it released lackluster quarterly earnings.

During a conference call with investors, the company said Prime subscription, which offer members receive free two-day shipping and access to Amazon’s instant video service and Kindle “lending library,” could increase from $20 to $40 to cover rising fuel and shipping costs, CNBC reports.

Prime has been a key part of Amazon’s strategy to get consumers to buy more and more products through the Web retailing giant. Over 1 million people signed up for the service in the third week of December alone, CNBC reports, though the company has not disclosed how many people actively use the service.

“It’s a good time to be an Amazon customer,” CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement. “You can now read your Kindle gate-to-gate, get instant on-device tech support via our revolutionary Mayday button, and have packages delivered to your door even on Sundays. In just the last weeks, Forrester, YouGov, and ForeSee have all ranked Amazon #1—and we believe we’re just scratching the surface of what world-class customer service can be.”

The company’s fourth quarter earnings were lower than expected, however. Amazon reported earnings of 51 cents per share, while expected earnings were about 66 cents per share.