Amazon has closed its $8.5 billion acquisition of MGM, the company announced on Thursday. The completion of the transaction will see more than 4,000 films and 17,000 TV shows become a part of Prime Video, the online retailer’s streaming service. The list includes the “James Bond” and “Rocky” series and classics ranging from “Fargo” to “Robocop” to “Silence of the Lambs.” The new titles will give Prime Video a leg up against rivals like Netflix, Hulu and HBO Max.
The deal, which was first announced last May, received clearance from the European Union’s antitrust regulator two days ago. The regulator found that the deal wouldn’t significantly reduce competition because Amazon and MGM have limited overlaps. Amazon has also moved forward with the transaction after the mid-March deadline for the Federal Trade Commission to challenge the merger has expired.
“MGM has a nearly century-long legacy of producing exceptional entertainment, and we share their commitment to delivering a broad slate of original films and television shows to a global audience,” said Mike Hopkins, the senior vice president of Prime Video and Amazon Studios, in a statement about the announcement. “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 to our customers.”
As we’ve seen with the launch of studio streaming platforms like Disney+, the deal will also likely result in content being pulled from competing services, once existing contracts end.
“We are excited for MGM and its bounty of iconic brands, legendary films and television series, and our incredible team and creative partners to join the Prime Video family,” said Chris Brearton, the chief operating officer of MGM, in a statement. “MGM has been 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 that tradition as we head into this next chapter, coming together with the great team at Prime Video and Amazon Studios to provide audiences with the very best in entertainment for years to come.”
Although Amazon has been seeing immense success over the past few years, MGM has experienced more challenges. In 2010, the studio filed for a prepackaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy after switching hands several times. The studio was reorganized and its creditors took control.
Amazon says the nearly century-old studio will complement Prime Video and Amazon Studios’ content and that together, the two will create more quality entertainment options for subscribers.
Amazon has also been making an aggressive push into original content through its own production studio and distribution. On the film side, it has produced notable titles like “Manchester By the Sea,” which received a screenwriting Oscar. The company is also embarking on a series based on “The Lord of Rings” called “The Rings of Power” that is set to be released on September 2nd. The series will join Prime Video’s current roster of popular TV shows like “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Fleabag,” “The Boys,” “Jack Ryan” and more.
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