Amazon is officially taking MGM studios under its wing in an $8.5 billion acquisition.
In the deal, first announced in May, Amazon was interested in MGM’s vast film library. “With the talent at MGM and the talent at Amazon Studios, we can reimagine and develop that IP for the 21st century,” Amazon founder Jeff Bezos said after the purchase was announced.
Details: Currently, MGM studios has more than 4,000 film titles — like “The Silence of the Lambs” and “Thelma & Louise” — and 17,000 TV episodes — like “The Handmaid's Tale” and “Survivor.”
Amazon said it would welcome all MGM employees to the company, indicating no layoffs, per Reuters.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission did not oppose the historic deal and the EU also gave its unconditional antitrust approval for the merger, according to Deadline.
What experts said: “This jump-starts them by 50 years,” said Michael Pachter, an analyst with Wedbush Securities, per Fortune Magazine. “That’s really what it comes down to. They weren’t going to be able to produce enough content to ever get close to Netflix.”
Amazon Studios produces a few hundred hours worth of shows and movies each year, and now MGM’s back catalog of 25,000 hours can be added to the company’s portfolio.
Flashback: Amazon started by acquiring smaller start-ups it saw as a threat, like Zappos or Quidsi. It has also acquired companies like Twitch, a gaming platform, and Kiva, a robot-engineering company. MGM studios is not the only legacy business it now owns — it previously took over Whole Foods.