Amazon to buy MGM, the studio behind James Bond and ‘Shark Tank’, for $ 8.45 billion

NEW YORK (AP) – Amazon is going to Hollywood.

The online shopping giant is buying MGM, the TV and movie studio behind James Bond, “Legally Blonde” and “Shark Tank,” in hopes of filling its video streaming service with more to watch.

Amazon is paying $ 8.45 billion for MGM, making it the company’s second-largest acquisition after it bought grocery store Whole Foods for nearly $ 14 billion in 2017.

The deal is the latest in the media industry that aims to boost streaming services to compete against Netflix and Disney +. AT&T and Discovery announced on May 17 that they would combine media companies, creating a powerhouse that includes HGTV, CNN, Food Network and HBO.

Amazon doesn’t say how many people watch its Prime Video service. But more than 200 million have access to it because they are enrolled in their Prime membership, which gives them faster shipping and other benefits. In addition to Prime Video, Amazon also has a free streaming service called IMDb TV, where Amazon makes money by playing ads during movies and shows.

Buying MGM would give Amazon access to more movies, shows, and famous people, including Rocky, RoboCop, and Pink Panther. Amazon will also have a cable channel: Epix, owned by MGM.

Known for its roaring lion logo, MGM is one of the oldest studios in Hollywood, founded in 1924 when movies were silent. He has a long list of classics in his library, including “Singing in the Rain.” Recent productions include the reality television shows “Shark Tank” and “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” as well as the upcoming James Bond film “No Time to Die” and an Aretha Franklin biopic called “Respect.” .

Amazon already has its own study, but it has had mixed results. Two of his shows, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “Fleabag,” won Emmy Awards for best comedy series. But many of his films have failed to capture public attention at the box office. Recently, Amazon has been spending on flashy sports and shows. It will air “Thursday Night Football” next year and is producing a “Lord of the Rings” show, which reportedly cost $ 450 million in its first season alone.

The deal, which is subject to customary approvals, will make Amazon, already one of the most powerful and valuable companies in the world, even bigger. Regulators around the world are looking at Amazon’s business practices, specifically how it analyzes information from companies that sell products on its site and uses it to create its own Amazon-branded products.

A House Judiciary Committee report in October called for a possible break-up of Amazon and others, making it difficult for them to buy other businesses and impose new rules to safeguard competition.

Amazon, founded in 1995 as an online bookstore, has grown into a $ 1.6 trillion behemoth that does a bit of everything. It has a commercial delivery network that receives orders from people in two days or sooner; sells inhalers and insulin; owns a cloud computing business that powers Netflix and McDonald’s apps; and it has plans to send more than 3,200 satellites into space to transmit Internet service to Earth.

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