The merger agreement that would bring MGM’s expansive movie and TV catalog to Amazon could be subject to an antitrust review by the Federal Trade Commission. The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, says the FTC asked to be in charge of the review since it’s already investigating Amazon’s wider business practices.
As WSJ points out, the FTC typically shares the responsibility of reviewing potential mergers for antitrust issues with the Justice Department. And at a recent interagency meeting, the FTC staked its claim to reviewing the Amazon/MGM deal citing its existing work examining the mega retailer.
Just over a month ago, Amazon and MGM announced a “definitive merger agreement” that would involve Amazon paying $8.45 billion for MGM library of more than 4,000 films and thousands of TV episodes. Among the more notable entries within MGM’s stable are the James Bond and Rocky franchises, as well as TV hits like The Handmaid’s Tale and Vikings.
Beyond that initial announcement, which arrived shortly after rumors of the deal first popped up, we haven’t heard many more details about the merger. Amazon hasn’t announced a target date for when it expects the deal to close. It also hasn’t offered much as far as potential plans for MGM’s library. However, that hasn’t stopped speculation that the company is looking to leverage popular properties for its Prime Video streaming service.
In any case, we’ll continue monitoring this story and update as we learn more about any potential antitrust investigations.