Amazon is set to find out probably this month if it’s going to have a clean path to its planned multi-billion dollar takeover of MGM.
In what would be one of the biggest movies into the traditional film industry by a player in the streaming market, Amazon is in the midst of trying to buy the MGM studio, in a deal worth $8.45bn. It’s been officially described as a merger, but then so was Disney’s acquisition of Fox, and the many thousands who lost their jobs as a result of that might have another word for it. That notwithstanding, Amazon is on the cusp of acquiring one of the most legendary names in movie history.
The snag has been going through the American regulatory system.
The deal has been under the eye of the US Department of Justice for many months now, with questions asked about Amazon’s acquisition of thousands of films and TV shows, as well as half the rights to the James Bond movies too.
The US Federal Trade Commission is reportedly now a couple of weeks away from deciding whether to let the deal pass, or to draw up antitrust legal papers against Amazon. And whilst the more recent Warner Bros/Discovery ‘merger’ has gone through easily enough, there are a few question marks over this one. Not least that the European Union also gets a say, and it’s two weeks away from making a call as well.
Sooner or later, one of these mega-mergers is likely to become if nothing else something of a test case for blocking a gigantic acquisition.
Still, as much as many are uneasy about the deal, the fact that previous sizeable deals involving Warner Bros and Disney have gone through does make it more likely than not Amazon will get its way. If it does, it’ll still be several months before a deal is completed.
We’ll keep you posted as we hear more.
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