Mar 15, 2022 - Technology

EU blesses Amazon's purchase of MGM

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

European Union antitrust regulators signed off on Amazon's $8.45 billion purchase of Hollywood studio MGM on Tuesday, imposing no conditions on the deal.

Why it matters: With Europe's clearance, Amazon's final regulatory hurdle is the Federal Trade Commission.

Driving the news: The European Commission, which reviewed the merger, said it would not significantly reduce competition.

  • MGM, which owns the James Bond franchise, does not have "must-have" content, the commission said.
  • "Even in the national markets where Amazon has a sizable market presence among video streaming platforms, the commission found that Amazon faces strong competition from other players," the commission said.

What they're saying: Amazon has argued that MGM is a relatively small player in the intensely competitive ecosystem of video streaming.

  • "We’re pleased with the Commission’s decision and, with MGM, look forward to providing more choice of quality entertainment for viewers," an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement.

What's next: The FTC faces a mid-March deadline to act on the merger, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

  • FTC Chair Lina Khan rose to prominence with her criticisms of Amazon's size and power.
  • But with the commission deadlocked at 2 Democrats and 2 Republicans, it's unclear whether she has the votes to sue to block the deal.
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