Apple, Netflix among possible suitors for MGM – report

The media consolidation wave looks like it will just keep rolling, with MGM as a potential next target to get swept up in its wake.

According to CNBC, the studio has held preliminary talks with companies including Apple and Netflix about a potential acquisition. MGM currently controls valuable IP like the James Bond films, and its studio produces popular series like Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

MGM also owns and operates premium network Epix, which appears on major distributor platforms like Comcast and sells a direct-to-consumer streaming video service.

Apple recently launched its Apple TV+ streaming service with a relatively small lineup of original series and films and no library content. So, a deal for MGM could potentially fill a need for the company and put its streaming service more on par with competitors that have deep content libraries.

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A potential deal for MGM would follow several high-profile mergers and acquisitions that have occurred in the media and entertainment space in the past few years. In 2018, AT&T closed its $85 billion deal for Time Warner, which was renamed WarnerMedia. Last year, Disney closed its $72 billion deal for much of 21st Century Fox. Viacom and CBS also recently completed their deal to recombine and in 2018 Discovery completed its merger agreement with Scripps. On the distribution side of the equation, Comcast last year completed its acquisition of European pay TV operator Sky.

As the CNBC report points out, smaller media companies like AMC Networks, Lionsgate and Sony Pictures, along with MGM, are now left in slightly weaker positions compared with massive media powers like Netflix, Amazon, Comcast, Apple, AT&T and Disney.