FTC probes Amazon's MGM deal as part of antitrust investigation
Amazon's $8.45 billion deal for MGM is again being scrutinized, Bloomberg reported Tuesday, as part of the Federal Trade Commissioner's "revamped" antitrust investigation into the tech giant.
Why it matters: Even though the deal closed in March, the FTC has said it could still challenge the acquisition — a step it appears the agency is gearing up to take.
State of play: FTC deputy director of competition John Newman has shaken up the team investigating Amazon, according to Bloomberg. Newman, a former Justice Department prosecutor, joined in December.
- The new team is reinterviewing witnesses and asking specifically about the MGM acquisition and its effect on Amazon's Prime Video service, the article says.
The big picture: The Biden Administration's promise of a tougher stance on antitrust may finally be materializing.
- The deadline for an Amazon challenge passed when the FTC was deadlocked at 2-2, and FTC chair Lina Khan lacked a majority to block the deal.
- But Khan is now operating with a 3-2 majority, following the long-delayed confirmation of Alvaro Bedoya, a Democrat, sworn in on May 16.
What's next: If the FTC and DOJ are really going to make good on their promise of tougher antitrust enforcement, that could spell trouble for not just Amazon/MGM, but other major media deals in the review process like CAA/ICM and Microsoft/Activision Blizzard.