Amazon is pressing the FTC for an antitrust ruling on the $8.5 billion MGM deal

Amazon is pressuring the Federal Trade Commission to rule on its proposed $8.45 billion acquisition of MGM, the Hollywood studio behind the James Bond franchise.

Amazon recently certified to the FTC that it provided all of the information requested by antitrust investigators The Wall Street Journal. That certification triggered a deadline for the FTC in mid-March, the report said, citing anonymous sources.

Such a short deadline could prove difficult for the FTC to take action, allowing Amazon to close the deal

In this scenario, however, Amazon would not necessarily be free from an FTC threat. The Commission still has the power to challenge mergers and acquisitions after they have been completed.

In recent months, the FTC has warned some companies that their deals will still be under investigation even after the statutory waiting period has expired.

MGM's Leo the lion logo.
Amazon said last May it would buy MGM for $8.45 billion, or $6.5 billion with no debt.
MGM’s Leo the lion logo. CREDIT:

Amazon, which has been the focus of a long-running probe into the company’s business practices as well as an investigation into the MGM deal, could fall into that bucket. The FTC could also file a lawsuit, after which the outcome of the merger would be determined by antitrust litigation that could drag on for months or years.

FTC Chair Lina Khan has argued in previous roles that the government should do more to rein in Amazon’s efforts to expand its empire, which includes e-commerce, streaming, cloud computing and artificial intelligence.

The Seattle-based company, founded by Jeff Bezos, is looking to push streaming harder to compete with rivals like Netflix and Disney via its Amazon Prime Video service.

jeff bezos
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is making a major foray into Hollywood and streaming with the proposed MGM deal.
David Ryder
Las Vegas, Nevada, United States - June 18, 2020: Amazon Fulfillment Center exterior in North Las Vegas Nevada, USA.  Amazon is the most famous online shopping company in the world.
Amazon is at the center of a long-running antitrust probe into the company’s business practices.

The deal would give Amazon access to MGM’s library of more than 4,000 films, including The Handmaid’s Tale and the Rocky film series, as well as the reality shows Shark Tank and The Apprentice.

It would also be the second-biggest deal in Amazon history after its $13.7 billion acquisition of grocery chain Whole Foods in 2017. Amazon is pressing the FTC for an antitrust ruling on the $8.5 billion MGM deal


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