Amazon has reached a deal to acquire MGM Studios for $8.45 billion, the second largest acquisition ever for the online goliath and one that sees Amazon take up MGM’s vast catalogue of some 4,000 films and blockbuster franchises, including James Bond.
The deal represents a major milestone in the tech giant’s push into the entertainment space, significantly strengthening the company’s portfolio of films and content, adding to the library that Amazon has already built through its own movie studio.
It is the latest acquisition to take place amid the ongoing battle for eyeballs among streaming giants like Netflix, Disney, and the resultant streaming platform to launch following WarnerMedia’s acquisition of Discovery’s earlier this month. Other tech giants such as Apple and Netflix had reportedly eyes an MGM takeover, but passed on the chance.
The $8.45 billion deal marks the second largest acquisition made by Amazon to date, behind its $13.7 billion Whole Foods deal. It now gives Amazon access to MGM’s vast catalog of classic Hollywood films like Gone With the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Singin’ in the Rain, Rocky, Silence of the Lambs, and Pink Panther.
MGM also shares the film rights of the James Bond franchise with Eon Productions – a holding company owned by the Wilson/Broccoli family – which will retain creative control over the spy film series.
The announcement notes that the deal will be completed after “regulatory approvals.”
“MGM has a vast catalog with more than 4,000 films. . . that have collectively won more than 180 Academy Awards and 100 Emmys,” said Mike Hopkins, Amazon’s senior vice president of Prime Video and Amazon Studios. “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.”
“It has been an honor to have been a part of the incredible transformation of Metro Goldwyn Mayer. To get here took immensely talented people with a true belief in one vision. On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank the MGM team who have helped us arrive at this historic day,” said Kevin Ulrich, chairman of the board of directors of MGM.
“I am very proud that MGM’s Lion, which has long evoked the Golden Age of Hollywood, will continue its storied history, and the idea born from the creation of United Artists lives on in a way the founders originally intended, driven by the talent and their vision. The opportunity to align MGM’s storied history with Amazon is an inspiring combination.”
Amazon’s decision to acquire MGM comes hot on the heels of another major Hollywood tie-up in which AT&T agreed to spin off its media division WarnerMedia and merge it with Discovery in a $43 billion deal. That deal aims to create a global streaming giant to rival the likes of Amazon, Disney and Netflix.