An Amazon Outage Halted Netflix Christmas Cheer

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An outage at one of Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) web service centers in Virginia prevented millions of Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) customers in the United States, Canada, and Latin America from watching movies and television shows on Christmas Eve. The streaming video service went down at approximately 12:30 p.m. PST on Monday and was not fully restored until 8:00 a.m. PST on Christmas morning.

In a statement seen by the New York Daily News, Netflix spokesman Joris Evers said the outage had caused streaming problems on “many but not all devices” that support the company’s service. These devices included gaming consoles like Nintendo’s (NTDOY.PK) Wii and Sony’s (NYSE:SNE) PlayStation 3 and Blu-ray DVD players.

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Netflix, which has 30 million users worldwide and 27 million users in the affected regions, began responding to angry tweets from users with disrupted service around 1 p.m. on Monday. After issuing an apology on the company’s main twitter account, Netflix attributed the problem to Amazon Web Services and announced that it was working with engineers to fix the problem. While the number of devices affected by the outage spread throughout the afternoon, service was restored for a majority of customers late on Monday evening.

“We are investigating exactly what happened and how it could have been prevented,” said Evers.

A similar outage caused problems for Reddit and Foursquare last April.

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