Amazon to increase price of Prime membership due to increased delivery costs

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The cost of membership to Amazon's popular Prime service is going up, the retailer has said.

The 49.99 per year service offers unlimited free one day delivery on a significant proportion of the retailer's stock, as well as free access to many of its Kindle digital book titles.

However, Amazon has now said that a price hike is likely at least in the US, where Prime membership currently costs $79. This is likely to rise to anything between $99 and $119.

Increased shipping and fuel costs have been blamed on the decision, which coupled with an increase in the amount of orders placed using the service has left it economically unsustainable – as demonstrated by the company's recent underwhelming financials.

Amazon saw over 1m new Prime signups in the week before Christmas alone.

No timescale has been put on the price increase.