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$99 per year

Amazon raises price of Prime service

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Amazon.com is raising the price of its Prime shipping and streaming membership service to $99 per year, up from $79, but less than the $119 the company said it was considering.

The company has begun informing current members that they will pay the higher price at their next renewal date.

Amazon also announced on its website that nonmembers can lock in the $79 annual free for one year if they sign up in the next seven days. After that, the price shoots up $20.

Amazon noted that the price of Prime has stayed the same since it launched in 2005 even though gas and shipping costs have risen. At the time, Prime membership only included free two-day shipping. Now the service includes the unlimited streaming of many TV shows and movies and the free borrowing of certain Kindle titles.

"Since 2005, the number of items eligible for unlimited free Two-Day Shipping has grown from one million to over 20 million," the company said in the email to Prime members. "We also added unlimited access to over 40,000 movies and TV episodes with Prime Instant Video and a selection of over 500,000 books to borrow from the Kindle Owners' Lending Library."

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