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Amazon completes $8.5 billion MGM acquisition despite FTC review

Amazon on Thursday closed its $8.5 billion deal for entertainment giant MGM, acquiring the studio behind successful franchises like James Bond — and avoiding regulatory scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission.

The deal gives Amazon and its Prime Video platform access to MGM’s extensive catalogue, which includes more than 4,000 films and 17,000 TV episodes, the companies noted. The transaction was first announced last May.

“We welcome MGM employees, developers and talent to Prime Video and Amazon Studios and look forward to working together to create even more ways to bring quality storytelling to our customers,” said Mike Hopkins, senior vice president of Prime Video and Amazon Studios.

The FTC faced a deadline in mid-March to take legal action after Amazon confirmed to the agency that it had provided all the necessary information requested by antitrust investigators. The FTC has yet to file a challenge — to clear the way for the Amazon takeover.

The deal went through despite opposition from several working groups, who asked the FTC to block the transaction – arguing it would stifle competition in the streaming market.

As The Post previously reported, the Amazon-MGM deal has been in limbo for months as the FTC, led by antitrust champion Lina Khan, cracks down on the tech sector.

MGM and Amazon Prime Video logos
Amazon’s deal for MGM is the second-biggest acquisition in its history.
Via amazon.com

The FTC declined to comment on the deal’s completion and whether it might take action to contest the deal in the future. Amazon also declined further comment.

The $8.45 billion deal is the second-largest acquisition in Amazon’s history, trailing only the $13.7 billion deal to buy grocery chain Whole Foods in 2017.

While the deal is in place and the FTC’s original deadline to challenge has passed, the agency could still seek to intervene in the future. The commission could still take action if a majority of its five-member body voted to challenge the takeover, the agency said Wall Street Journal.

Earlier this week, the Amazon-MGM deal received full approval from the European Commission, which determined that “the inclusion of MGM content in Amazon’s Prime Video offering would not have a material impact on Amazon’s position as a marketplace services provider.” “.

“We are thrilled to have MGM and its wealth of iconic brands, iconic films and television series, as well as our incredible team and creative partners, join the Prime Video family,” said Chris Brearton, MGM’s Chief Operating Officer.

The acquisition expands Amazon’s content pool at a time of intense competition in the streaming sector. Amazon’s Prime Video competes with streaming giants Amazon and Disney+ for viewership, among others.

https://nypost.com/2022/03/17/amazon-closes-8-5b-mgm-acquisition-despite-ftc-scrutiny/ Amazon completes $8.5 billion MGM acquisition despite FTC review

DUSTIN JONES

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