Amazon reportedly close to deal to acquire Hollywood studio MGM for almost $9B

(MGM.com Image)

Amazon is close to a deal to acquire Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) according to a new report in The Wall Street Journal on Monday. The historic Hollywood studio would cost the Seattle-based tech giant almost $9 billion, people familiar with the matter told the newspaper.

The deal at that price tag would be Amazon’s second largest behind its 2017 acquisition of Whole Foods for $13.7 billion.

Reports have been circulating that Amazon was seeking to bolster its Hollywood presence. Forbes reported earlier this year that Amazon was “kicking the tires” on MGM, which the magazine referred to as a “faded Golden-Age studio.” The Information reported similar news last week.

Amazon is already an active player in film and television with content it creates and acquires through Amazon Studios and that it broadcasts through its streaming service, Prime Video. Amazon also owns IMDb.com.

A privately held company, MGM was valued around $5.5 billion, including debt, last December, according to the WSJ.

MGM would provide Amazon with a major film library, which includes the James Bond and Rocky franchises, as well as television shows such as “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Fargo,” and reality shows such as “Shark Tank” and “Survivor.”

Amazon competes with Netflix, Hulu, Disney and other streaming services and has had major awards season success at the Oscars, Emmys and Golden Globes, among others.

The company announced in November 2017 that it was adapting the celebrated fantasy series “The Lord of the Rings” as a multi-season series for streaming television. The WSJ reported Monday that the series has a $465 million first-season budget.

MGM and Amazon Web Services signed a cloud computing agreement in December to move the studio’s content and distribution efforts to the cloud and to help the studio develop “new business models” and “new revenue opportunities,” The Hollywood Reporter previously reported.

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