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Amazon buys MGM for $8.45 billion

As rumoured a week ago, etail and cloud giant Amazon is buying movie studio MGM to augment its Amazon Prime SVoD offering.

The word on the street was that MGM would cost around $9 billion when we covered the rumour, but in the end Amazon managed to shave over half a bil off that. For some reason Amazon is calling this a merger, despite $8.45 billion being a sum it routinely finds down the back of the corporate sofa.

“MGM has a vast catalogue with more than 4,000 films… as well as 17,000 TV shows… that have collectively won more than 180 Academy Awards and 100 Emmys,” said Mike Hopkins, SVP of Prime Video and Amazon Studios. “The real financial value behind this deal is the treasure trove of IP in the deep catalogue that we plan to reimagine and develop together with MGM’s talented team. It’s very exciting and provides so many opportunities for high-quality storytelling.”

High-quality storytelling, love it. In other words, decent films and telly. The dots in the above quotes, by the way, are where we cut out lists of individual titles. The apparent plan is to do loads of remakes, which have half a chance of being worth watching and should make it even harder for punters to resist the lure of Amazon Prime.

“It has been an honour to have been a part of the incredible transformation of Metro Goldwyn Mayer,” said Kevin Ulrich, MGM Chairman. “To get here took immensely talented people with a true belief in one vision. On behalf of the board, I would like to thank the MGM team who have helped us arrive at this historic day.

“I am very proud that MGM’s Lion, which has long evoked the golden age of Hollywood, will continue its storied history, and the idea born from the creation of United Artists lives on in a way the founders originally intended, driven by the talent and their vision. The opportunity to align MGM’s storied history with Amazon is an inspiring combination.”

OK Kevin, we get it, but whether US antitrust authorities will is another matter. Amazon already dominates two of the most important digital markets and, with this acquisition, will significantly augment its already strong position in a third. US regulators and politicians are already looking for any opportunity to knock the tech giants down a peg or two, or at least shake them down for some cash, and they’re probably licking their lips at this news.

 


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