Amazon finally completes its $8.5 billion purchase of MGM studios


Amazon has completed its $8.5 billion acquisition of film and television studio MGM, the companies announced on Thursday.

The deal gives Amazon control of one of Hollywood’s most iconic brands, with a catalog of more than 4,000 movie titles, including the James Bond and Rocky franchises, as well as classics like The Silence of the Lambs.

Amazon’s purchase of MGM was first announced in May.

The transaction was believed to be in the crosshairs of the Federal Trade Commission headed by Amazon critic Lina Khan. The Biden administration has signaled its opposition to tech giants getting too big and powerful. However, according to people familiar with the matter, the deadline for the FTC to intervene has expired.

The European Commission this week approved the Amazon-MGM deal, concluding that “the transaction would not raise any competition concerns” in Europe.

The closing of the Amazon-MGM deal comes after Discovery and AT&T said it was the deadline for US regulators to try to finalize the $43 billion merger of Discovery and WarnerMedia, HBO’s parent company. CNN and Warner Bros. to block. Discovery shareholders approved the acquisition of larger WarnerMedia last week.

MGM will become part of the same entity as Amazon Studios and Amazon Prime Video. However, it remains to be seen how MGM will fit into Amazon’s existing film and TV production business, Amazon Studios.

The Seattle tech giant’s entertainment business has had some success on the Amazon Prime streaming service with shows like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and acquired films like Coming 2 America. Aaron Sorkin’s Being the Ricardos, published by Amazon, received multiple Oscar nominations.

MGM’s recent films, like Cyrano and the Best Picture nominee Licorice Pizza, have been released exclusively in theaters rather than going straight to streaming. Amazon Studios films are primarily intended to feed Amazon Prime.

When Amazon announced the deal, the company said it wanted to scour MGM’s vault for reboots, remakes, and other franchise opportunities. MGM has a long history of filmmaking, with titles like The Pink Panther and Thelma & Louise.

However, many of the most famous titles that MGM produced in its Golden Age heyday, such as Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of Oz, are no longer owned by the company, and many of its best-known works have been exploited for attempted franchises.

“MGM has a nearly century-old heritage of producing exceptional entertainment, and we share their commitment to delivering a diverse array of original films and television shows to a global audience,” said Mike Hopkins, senior vice president of Prime Video and Amazon Studios. in an opinion.

The MGM deal is Amazon’s second-largest acquisition, after the company bought grocery retailer Whole Foods for nearly $14 billion in 2017.

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/business/story/2022-03-17/amazon-closes-mgm-purchase Amazon finally completes its $8.5 billion purchase of MGM studios

Caroline Bleakley

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