WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc said on Thursday it had reached its $8.5 billion deal to buy MGM, combining the legendary filmmaker behind “Rocky” and James Bond with the online retail giant as ‘he seeks to attract consumers through more streaming video.
In a statement, Amazon said it would welcome all MGM employees back to the company and work with studio management, saying there would be no layoffs. Its decision to close comes after a deadline for the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to challenge the deal expired.
The Seattle-based retailer announced the deal in May 2021, saying MGM was offering a wealth of content to attract consumers to its Prime fast delivery and streaming club, which costs $14.99 per month in the United States.
Almost a year later, Amazon no longer has any regulatory hurdles. The European Commission approved the deal on Tuesday, without conditions. Similarly, Amazon previously informed the FTC that it had “substantially complied” with requests for information about the deal.
According to Amazon, MGM staff will join the organization of Mike Hopkins, senior vice president of Prime Video and Amazon Studios.
MGM bolsters Amazon Prime Video’s offering with more than 4,000 movie titles, plus this year’s Oscar-nominated “Licorice Pizza,” and a long list of TV shows that could help Amazon compete with rivals Netflix and Disney+ streaming.
Hopkins praised MGM’s “wide range of original movies and TV shows”.
“We welcome MGM employees, creators and talent to Prime Video and Amazon Studios, and we look forward to working together,” he said in a statement.
An FTC spokeswoman declined to comment on the specific transaction, but noted that the agency could challenge a deal after it closes “if it determines it violates the law.”
The FTC has opened a broader investigation into Amazon as part of government antitrust investigations launched under the Trump administration into the big four tech platforms, including Facebook and Google.
(Reporting by Diane Bartz, Jeffrey Dastin and Dawn Chmielewski Editing by Nick Zieminski and Jonathan Oatis)
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