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Netflix Christmas outage: Amazon to blame

Netflix outage affected customers in the US, Canada, and Latin America. 

By Sam ForgioneReuters / December 27, 2012

This March file photo shows the Netfilx headquarters in Los Gatos, Calif. Netflix users who were hoping to spend their Christmas Eve in 2012 streaming a movie or TV show had to find another way to entertain themselves after a Netflix outage hit customers across the Americas.

Paul Sakuma/AP/File

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NEW YORK

An outage at one of Amazon's web service centers hit users of Netflix Inc's streaming video service on Christmas Eve and was not fully resolved until Christmas Day, a spokesman for the movie rental company said on Tuesday.

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The outage impacted Netflix subscribers across CanadaLatin America and the United States, and affected various devices that enable users to stream movies and television shows from home, Netflix spokesman Joris Evers said. Such devices range from gaming consoles like the Nintendo Wii and PlayStation 3 to Blu-ray DVD players.

Netflix, which is based in Los GatosCalifornia, has 30 million streaming subscribers worldwide, of which more than 27 million are in the Americas region that was exposed to the outage and could have potentially been affected, Evers said.

Evers said the issue was the result of an outage at an Amazon Web Services' cloud computing center in Virginia and started at about 12:30 p.m. PST (2030 GMT) on Monday and was fully restored before 8:00 a.m. PST Tuesday morning, although streaming was available for most users by 11:00 p.m. PST on Monday.

The event marks the latest in a series of outages from Amazon Web Services, with one occurring in April of last year that knocked out such sites as Reddit and Foursquare.

"We are investigating exactly what happened and how it could have been prevented," Evers of Netflix said.

"We are happy that people opening gifts of Netflix or Netflix capable devices can watch TV shows and movies and apologize for any inconvenience caused last night," he added.

Officials at Amazon Web Services were not available for comment. Evers, the Netflix spokesman, declined to comment on the company's contracts with Amazon.

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