May 17, 2021
On the heels of AT&T’s stunning announcement that it is unloading WarnerMedia comes word that Amazon may be looking to buy the MGM movie studio.
The Information on May 17 reported that Amazon is in talks to acquire the celebrated studio, citing “a person familiar with the situation.”
Such a deal, the Information noted, would be the e-commerce giant’s “biggest move yet to expand in entertainment.”
MGM owns a huge film library and several top movie franchises, including “James Bond” and “Rocky.” MGM holdings also include the Epic cable channel and a production studio behind such TV shows as “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Fargo,” “Shark Tank” and “Survivor.”
Amazon, meanwhile, has been a perpetual also-ran in the original content game to Netflix and even Disney+, while no one really knows for sure how many people tune in to the Amazon Prime Video streaming service because the subscription price also includes free shipping for online purchases.
Amazon won’t comment on the Information report, but in December 2020 it was widely reported that MGM was exploring a sale. The Wall Street Journal, first with the story, reported that “people familiar with the matter” said MGM is betting that its rich film and TV library would be attractive to companies looking for growth in streaming.
MGM has engaged investment banks Morgan Stanley and LionTree LLC and begun a formal sale process, the people said, according to the Wall Street Journal report. The company has a market value of around $5.5 billion.
Shortly after the Information report, Variety reported that Amazon “is weeks into negotiations on a deal to acquire MGM for about $9 billion,” citing “industry sources.”