Just a little over two years after Disney acquired Fox to make the Mouse House one of Hollywood’s major players, Amazon is eyeing its own mega-acquisition deal. According to Variety, Amazon is looking to raise its own Hollywood profile and is negotiating to purchase MGM for a hefty $9 billion sum (while some industry estimates put its worth closer to $5 billion).
Though reps for both Amazon and MGM declined to comment on the story, Variety claims that the two companies are already weeks into negotiations. According to Variety:
Chatter that Amazon (and other tech and media giants) have been sniffing around MGM has circulated for some time. But sources indicated that Amazon’s interest in acquiring the studio has taken on a new tenor beyond the usual rumor mill. The deal is said to be being orchestrated by Mike Hopkins, senior VP of Amazon Studios and Prime Video, directly with MGM board chairman Kevin Ulrich, whose Anchorage Capital is a major MGM shareholder.
Just last week, Amazon announced it was bringing back former executive Jeff Blackburn to oversee the company’s global media and entertainment group—an appointment that makes more sense now given the MGM news. Variety reported that media is a growing focus for Amazon and that the company spent $11 billion acquiring TV shows, movies, and music for its Prime customers in 2020, which was a 40 percent increase in spending over 2019.
When it comes to existing content, MGM’s got a deep and impressive bench that could give Amazon Prime a leg up over its streaming competitors with a single acquisition. The James Bond, Hobbit, Rocky, and RoboCop series are among the studio’s 4,000 film titles and major movie franchises. On the TV side, MGM is home to 17,000 episodes of original programming for shows like Stargate SG-1, Vikings, Fargo, and American Gladiators as well as hit reality franchises including Shark Tank, The Voice, Survivor, and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
Jeff Bezos recently told investors that 175 million of Amazon’s more than 200 million Prime customers have streamed Prime Video content in the past year. And, as Variety writes, “The company clearly wants to turn Prime Video into an even bigger habit for customers worldwide—and a quick way to do that would be to stir MGM’s extensive library of titles into the mix.”
Who’s ready for a RoboCop marathon?