Amazon in Talks Regarding U.K. Insurance Site: Reuters

(Bloomberg) -- Amazon.com Inc. is in talks with European insurers regarding the creation of a U.K. price-comparison site, according to a report from Reuters, citing people familiar with the matter.

It is unclear what insurance products would be sold, and there are no imminent plans to launch a site, the news agency said Thursday. Amazon is sounding out some of Europe’s top insurance firms to see if they would contribute to a U.K. price-comparison website, Reuters reported.

The U.K. insurance-comparison market is highly competitive, with comparethemarket.com and GoCompare.com Group Plc the major providers. Amazon, which declined to comment, does offer a service called Amazon Protect, which provides accident insurance on consumer goods.

Shares in GoCompare.com fell as much as 10.2 percent in trading Thursday.

While Amazon has an extensive price-comparison service for products on its website, a separate offering for insurance policies would be a new market for the U.S. giant. It has previously invested in Indian-based digital insurance startup Acko Technologies, and also placed job adverts for insurance product managers in insurance. Amazon said it is “disrupting the way traditional product insurance services are acquired and delivered and creating a new palette of services,” according to an internal job advert.

The European insurance-site sector is undergoing a period of takeovers. ESure Group Plc, a U.K. provider of motor insurance, on Monday received an unsolicited offer of about 1.17 billion pounds ($1.5 billion) from Bain Capital Private Equity LP.

U.S. tech giants have become increasingly interested in the insurance sector. Verily, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc. has been looking into health-insurance contracts, while Google has long flagged its desire to develop partnerships with insurance companies. A report from analytics firm GlobalData in April found that 30 percent of U.K. consumers it surveyed would consider buying insurance from providers such as Google, Apple Inc., Facebook Inc or Amazon.

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