Amazon said Thursday that its deal to acquire Hollywood studio MGM, announced in May 2021, has closed.
The $8.45 billion deal is Amazon’s second-largest acquisition behind its $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods in 2017. MGM will provide Amazon with more than 4,000 films and 17,000 TV shows that have collectively won more than 180 Academy Awards and 100 Emmys.
Purchasing the historic Hollywood studio is a major boon to Amazon’s growing media arm. Amazon is already an active player in film and television with content it creates and acquires through Amazon Studios and that it broadcasts through its streaming service, Prime Video. Amazon also owns IMDb.com.
The deal also signals Amazon’s continued investment in its media arm to compete against the likes of other streaming giants such as Netflix, Hulu, and Disney. Amazon uses Prime Video as one of many perks — including free shipping, cloud storage, etc. — for its $139/year Prime membership, which counts 200 million members globally.
Amazon spent $13 billion on video and music content last year, up 18% from the year prior.
Regulators in the U.S. were reportedly operating under a deadline of March 15 to determine whether to challenge the deal.
Amazon did not provide details on the FTC review of the deal in its announcement Thursday.
Earlier this week The European Commission gave unconditional approval to Amazon’s acquisition, saying Tuesday that its review determined the deal “would raise no competition concerns” in the European region.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the FTC could still challenge the acquisition.
Amazon previously sought the recusal of FTC Chairwoman Lina Khan from the merger review, pointing specifically at her previous criticisms of the company’s reach and power.
The deal comes as regulators increasingly take aim at Big Tech and antitrust-related legislation.
Last year Sen. Elizabeth Warren sent a letter sent to Khan, asserting that Amazon’s billion-dollar bid for MGM might harm consumers and extend Amazon’s market dominance beyond an acceptable level.
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