Amazon is making a big bet on old-school Hollywood. After several rumors that said a deal was in talks, the tech company announced this morning it was buying MGM (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer). Amazon will pay $8.45 billion to buy the 97-year-old company.
In the press release, Amazon says its purchase of MGM is primarily to boost its film output of Amazon Studios. While that part of the tech company is usually in charge of original TV shows for Amazon Prime Video, it has seen some success in film. Over the last several months, Amazon acquired films like Borat Subsequent Moviefilm and Coming 2 America, which have become big streaming hits.
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The purchase of MGM means Amazon will have control of over 4,000 films, including major franchises like the James Bond series, Rocky, RoboCop, Stargate, The Pink Panther, Legally Blonde, and many others. MGM also makes TV shows, and Amazon will soon be able to access over 17,000 TV episodes from such series as Vikings, Fargo, and most interestingly, The Handmaid’s Tale, which is a huge hit for Disney-owned Hulu. MGM also makes several reality shows, including Survivor, The Voice, the Real Housewives franchise, Shark Tank, and more.
You can bet that with all that entertainment IP, Amazon will try to exploit it for its Prime Video streaming library. You can likely expect to see new entries for many of MGM’s franchises debut on Prime Video, in both new TV and film versions (a James Bond TV show, anyone?).
Amazon did not announce when it expects the deal to officially close. As with all large purchases, it will be subject to government regulatory review and approvals.