Amazon inches closer to owning MGM after EU approval

Amazon cleared another hurdle for its proposed $8.45 billion acquisition of MGM this week when European regulators signed off on the deal.

The European Commission said, based on its market investigation, the transaction will not significantly reduce competition in the markets for the production and supply of AV content; the wholesale supply of TV channels; the retail supply of AV services; the production and licensing of distribution rights to third-party distributors of films for theatrical release; or the provision of marketplace services.

“Even in the national markets where Amazon has a sizeable market presence among video streaming platforms, the Commission found that Amazon faces strong competition from other players,” the agency wrote in a news release.

EU approval for the deal comes amid recent reports that Amazon has triggered a mid-March deadline for the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to file a challenge to the merger. According to Reuters, Amazon may be just days away from closing the transaction.

The deal, which was announced last year, will provide Amazon with a catalog with more than 4,000 films—including the James Bond series, “Legally Blonde,” “Moonstruck,” “Poltergeist,” “Raging Bull,” “Robocop,” “Rocky,” “Silence of the Lambs” and “Thelma & Louise”—along with 17,000 TV shows including “Fargo” and “The Handmaid’s Tale.” But the most important facet of the deal will be the opportunity is presents for new content based on existing titles.

“The real financial value behind this deal is the treasure trove of IP in the deep catalog 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,” said Mike Hopkins, senior vice president of Prime Video and Amazon Studios, in a statement.