MGM, Amazon Reach Definitive Merger Agreement
The studio that brought us classics such as Robocop and the James Bond series is being sold to Amazon.
Chatter about the pending deal has been widely reported in recent weeks, but an official announcement was released Wednesday saying that e-commerce king Amazon and MGM have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Amazon will acquire MGM for $8.45 billion.
MGM was founded in 1924 and has amassed a library of more than 4,000 movies and 17,000 television shows, including some of the world’s biggest classics. However, some of the studio’s best loved jewles released prior to 1986 — like The Wizard of Oz and Gone With The Wind — are still owned by WarnerMedia and Turner Classic Movies and are not part of the deal.
However, films created under United Artists like James Bond and the Rocky movies and controlled by MGM will move over in the Amazon deal.
MGM will now join with Amazon Studios, which is known for its stable of mostly original TV shows streamed on Amazon Prime.
With the acquisition, Amazon said it will “preserve MGM’s heritage and catalog of films,” while giving movie lovers greater access to the catalog, presumably now including the use of its Prime Video platform.
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“MGM has a vast catalog with more than 4,000 films—12 Angry Men, Basic Instinct, Creed, James Bond, Legally Blonde, Moonstruck, Poltergeist, Raging Bull, Robocop, Rocky, Silence of the Lambs, Stargate, Thelma & Louise, Tomb Raider, The Magnificent Seven, The Pink Panther, The Thomas Crown Affair, and many other icons—as well as 17,000 TV shows—including Fargo, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Vikings—that have collectively won more than 180 Academy Awards and 100 Emmys,” stated Mike Hopkins, Amazon Prime Video and Amazon Studios senior VP. “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.”
The deal still must meet regulatory approvals and the date of the expected completion wasn’t revealed. MGM will reportedly continue to operate as a label under the Amazon brand.
“It has been an honor to have been a part of the incredible transformation of Metro Goldwyn Mayer. 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,” stated Kevin Ulrich, Chairman of the Board of Directors of MGM. “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.”
Ironically, the announcement of the acquisition came a day after the attorney general for Washington, D.C., filed an antitrust lawsuit against Amazon for allegedly engaging in anti-competitive practices that have led to higher prices stifled innovation and choice in the e-commerce arena.
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By Greg Tarr
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