February 6, 2012, 11:36 AM

Verizon takes on Netflix with a new streaming video program

The telephone and cable TV carrier joins with Redbox to offer a subscription service.

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Netflix Inc. is getting more competition as a provider of digital streaming of movies and TV shows. Verizon Communications Inc. is getting into digital video via a partnership with DVD rental company Redbox Automated Retail, LLC.

The joint venture, set to launch in the second half of this year, will enable customers to subscribe for digital downloads and streaming video content for an undisclosed price. The content will be available online and via mobile devices, the companies say.

Redbox is known for the bright red kiosks it places in grocery stores and other locations where customers can rent DVDs or Blu-ray movies.

"The joint venture will combine the accessibility and value of Redbox with Verizon's vision for a borderless lifestyle—where consumers easily accomplish what they want or need to do, on their terms, through the power of the network," says Bob Mudge, president of Verizon consumer and mass business markets. "Together, we are erasing old technology boundaries, freeing people to spontaneously enjoy the entertainment they want, whenever they choose, using the devices and media they prefer, at home or away."

Verizon will hold a 65% ownership share in the new venture and Redbox 35%, the companies say.

Amazon.com Inc., No. 1 in Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide, has also been increasing its focus on its streaming video service, as it has inked several deals with movie studios and TV channels in recent months. Netflix, the leader in streaming video, is No. 13.

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