Amazon to acquire MGM for $8.45 bn

·2-min read

Los Angeles / New Delhi, May 26 (PTI) Amazon and MGM on Wednesday announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Amazon will acquire MGM for a purchase price of USD 8.45 billion.

Amazon said they plan to 'reimagine and develop together with MGM's talented team', stories from the vast catalog of the studio which has almost a century-old history in filmmaking.

Metro Goldwyn Mayer, better known as MGM, has over 4,000 popular film titles, including '12 Angry Men', 'Basic Instinct', 'Creed', 'James Bond', 'Legally Blonde', 'Moonstruck', 'Raging Bull', 'Rocky', 'Silence of the Lambs', 'Thelma & Louise', 'Tomb Raider', 'The Magnificent Seven' and 'The Pink Panther', in its vast library.

It also has 17,000 TV shows -- including 'Fargo', 'The Handmaid's Tale', and 'Vikings' -- that have collectively won more than 180 Academy Awards and 100 Emmys, said Mike Hopkins, Senior Vice President of Prime Video and Amazon Studios.

'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,' Hopkins said in a statement.

Kevin Ulrich, Chairman of the Board of Directors of MGM added, '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.' Completion of this transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, the release said. India is among the fastest-growing markets for Amazon Prime Video globally, and the content streaming platform is focussing its investments on bringing more content and expanding the service to a larger audience in the country.

Amazon Prime Video, which had partnered with Airtel in India earlier this year to bring a mobile-only plan (a global first) for Indian users, competes with platforms like Netflix, Disney+Hotstar, Zee5, and others in the country.

Streaming services have had multiple tailwinds that have fuelled their growth in India over the past few years. Factors like affordable data, ubiquitous availability of mobile phones, and engaging content have driven the adoption of these services, especially among millennials.

Adoption of these over-the-top (OTT) platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+Hotstar has seen further acceleration during the pandemic-induced lockdown amid restricted social activities like visits to movie theatres. PTI BK SR SHW

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