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Amazon-MGM Deal Talks Advance

MGM
(Image credit: MGM)

Talks between Amazon and MGM for a $9 billion agreement that would put the legendary Hollywood studio under the control of the e-commerce giant have reportedly advanced to the "near deal" point.

The Wall Street Journal, citing humans close to the negotiations, said a sale could be announced as soon as this week. The MGM was said to have been briefed on the deal terms Sunday evening. 

Should the deal occur, it would be Amazon's second biggest acquisition ever, trailing only the 2017 purchase of Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. 

Metro Goldwyn Mayer, the 97-year-old studio home to film franchises including James Bond, Rocky, RoboCop, The Pink Panther and Chucky the killer doll, has been on the block since December. The studio hired investment banks LionTree LLC and Morgan Stanley to begin a formal sale process.

Apple and Comcast have already kicked the tires and valued the company at around $6 billion. MGM also owns the Epix premium programmer.

Now, MGM’s majority owner, New York investment firm Anchorage Capital, reportedly wants around $9 billion, and that’s the price Amazon is said to be negotiating around.

Amazon’s ties to an MGM purchase have been rumored for several months, but The Information reported last week that Mike Hopkins, senior VP of Amazon Studios and Prime Video, is indeed leading an acquisition discussion. 

With AT&T agreeing to divest its WarnerMedia division and have it merge with Discovery Inc., media consolidation is certainly top of mind. Much of the discussion around that deal revolves around the opportunity for WarnerMedia and Discovery to jointly compete with the runaway likes of Disney and Netflix, which have more global scale than anyone right now. 

But with 175 million Amazon Prime members worldwide using Amazon Prime Video, according to a recent company disclosure, Amazon’s scale is pretty impressive, too. 

MGM, which has a library of around 4,000 films, would add heft to Amazon Studios at a time when it’s not only programming the subscription Prime Video service, but also is trying to expand the ad-supported IMDb TV platform.