Amazon Completes $8.5 Billion MGM Acquisition

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

The pact was first announced in May and has meandered through the regulatory process. According to Amazon, β€œThe storied nearly-century-old studio – with more than 4,000 film titles, 17,000 TV episodes, 180 Academy Awards and 100 Emmy Awards – will complement the work of Prime Video and Amazon Studios by offering a diverse range of entertainment options to customers. “

The closing of the transaction comes two days after the Amazon-MGM deal received approval from the European Union’s antitrust authority, which gave Amazon’s proposed acquisition of MGM “unconditional” approval, in part because “MGM’s content is not considered a must.” can be viewed”. The European Commission found in its antitrust review that the overlap between Amazon’s and MGM’s businesses is “limited”.

At the time, the deal was still pending approval by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which Amazon had given a deadline in mid-March to make a decision on the transaction, the Wall Street Journal reported. That meant if the FTC didn’t file a legal challenge before the deadline, Amazon could go ahead with the deal, the report said.

As of Thursday morning, the FTC has not publicly challenged or approved the deal. However, a person with knowledge of the matter said diversity the FTC does not formally approve transactions; it either challenges it or not, and should the agency challenge it, the FTC can do so before or after its execution. Amazon declined to comment on the FTC aspect of the deal’s closing announcement.

The companies have yet to announce what leadership will be at the now-merged MGM and Amazon, where Jennifer Salke is currently head of Amazon Studios and industry talks have led to speculation she could serve as head of a combined studio.

According to an Amazon representative, once the deal closes, MGM’s management team will join the group led by Mike Hopkins, senior vice president of Prime Video and Amazon Studios. They include film executive Michael De Luca and television group leader Mark Burnett.

“MGM has a nearly century-old legacy of producing exceptional entertainment, and we share their commitment to delivering a diverse array of original films and television shows to a global audience,” Hopkins said in a statement. “We welcome the staff, developers and talent of MGM to Prime Video and Amazon Studios and look forward to working together to create even more opportunities to bring quality storytelling to our customers.”

Chris Brearton, MGM’s Chief Operating Officer, added: “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. MGM was responsible for the creation of some of the most well-known and critically acclaimed films and television series of the past century. We look forward to continuing this tradition as we move into this next chapter and join forces with the amazing team at Prime Video and Amazon Studios to bring audiences the very best in entertainment for years to come.”

MGM, founded in 1924, will offer Amazon a catalog of more than 4,000 films and 17,000 TV shows, including the James Bond, Pink Panther and Rocky film series. Amazon believes that “the real monetary value behind this deal is the treasure trove of [intellectual property] in the deep catalog that we aim to reinvent and develop alongside the talented team at MGM,” Hopkins said when announcing the deal last year.

MGM’s film catalog includes 12 Angry Men, Basic Instinct, Creed & Rocky, Legally Blonde, Moonstruck, Poltergeist, Raging Bull, Robocop, and Silence of the Lamb’s”. , “Stargate”, “Thelma & Louise”, “Tomb Raider”, “The Magnificent Seven”, “The Pink Panther”, “The Thomas Crown Affair” and of course the James Bond series. On the TV front, the studio has produced Fargo, The Handmaid’s Tale and Vikings.

Todd Spangler contributed to this report.

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