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The FTC may tranquilize Amazon’s acquisition of MGM
Future. According to reports, the Federal Trade Commission is planning to file an antitrust lawsuit to stop Amazon from its $8.5 billion takeover of MGM Studios… which could really just be a part of the FTC’s larger investigation into Amazon. That would make sense, especially after it allowed the Discover-WarnerMedia merger to pass — a deal that will have a much larger impact on Hollywood than the Amazon-MGM one.
Back in the cage
The FTC may sue to keep the MGM lion from Amazon’s ever-growing zoo.
- The FTC is taking particular issue with Amazon having exclusive access to MGM’s massive film library, which includes Rocky, James Bond, and Robocop.
- It’s currently holding interviews with rival streamers and studios about the potential impact on the entertainment industry by Amazon’s acquisition.
- It’s also looking into how Amazon holds sway over other streamers via its Amazon Web Services, which hosts platforms like Netflix and HBO Max.
- Amazon wielded that power to get better terms from WarnerMedia in order for it to host HBO Max on the Amazon Fire platform.
The final decision to file the lawsuit is expected to come in the next few weeks.
Khan the Hunter
34 groups, including Hollywood unions and consumer-rights advocacy groups, have written the FTC in opposition to the acquisition, stating that “it is not simply a one-off deal for streaming content; it is the latest move in Amazon’s overarching strategy to create numerous interconnected points of dominance over businesses and consumers.”
FTC Chair Lina Khan (a vocal Amazon critic) is all ears. Khan has assigned the Amazon-MGM case to antitrust prosecutor John Newman, who is also overseeing the FTC’s broader investigation into Amazon. That might indicate that this lawsuit could just be part of the commission’s larger battle against the e-commerce giant.