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Amazon closes deal to buy MGM studio

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Amazon says it has closed its $US8.5 billion ($11.5 billion) deal to buy MGM, combining the fabled movie maker behind Rocky and James Bond with the online retailing giant as it looks to draw consumers through more streaming video.

In a statement, Amazon said it would welcome all MGM employees to the company and work with the studio’s leadership, indicating there would not be lay-offs.

Its decision to close came after a deadline passed for the US Federal Trade Commission to challenge the deal.

The Seattle-based retailer announced the transaction in May 2021, saying MGM offered a trove of content to draw consumers to its fast-shipping and streaming club Prime, which costs $US14.99 a month in the US (and $6.99 a month in Australia).

Nearly a year later, Amazon is clear of regulatory hurdles.

The European Commission approved the deal on Tuesday, with no conditions.

Likewise, Amazon earlier informed the FTC that it had “substantially complied” with requests for information about the deal.

The FTC declined to comment.

According to Amazon, MGM’s staff will join the organisation of Mike Hopkins, senior vice-president of Prime Video and Amazon Studios.

MGM bolsters Amazon Prime Video’s offering with more than 4000 film titles, as well as this year’s Oscar-nominated Licorice Pizza and a long list of television shows that may help Amazon compete with streaming rivals Netflix and Disney+.

Mr Hopkins praised MGM’s “broad slate of original films and television shows”.

“We welcome MGM employees, creators and talent to Prime Video and Amazon Studios, and we look forward to working together to create even more opportunities to deliver quality storytelling,” he said.

The FTC has a broader probe open into Amazon as part of US federal government antitrust investigations begun under the administration of former president Donald Trump into the four big tech platforms, including Facebook and Google.

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