Amazon is eyeing its own mega-acquisition bid just over two years after Disney purchased Fox to make the Mouse House one of Hollywood’s biggest players. According to Variety, Amazon is in talks to buy MGM for a whopping $9 billion (although some industry reports place its value closer to $5 billion).
Despite the fact that both Amazon and MGM have refused to comment on the report, Variety reports that the two companies have been in talks for weeks. Variety reports that:
Amazon (and other tech and media behemoths) have been rumored to be sniffing around MGM for some time. However, sources say that Amazon’s involvement in purchasing the studio has progressed beyond the normal rumors. Mike Hopkins, senior VP of Amazon Studios and Prime Video, is said to be working closely with MGM board chairman Kevin Ulrich, whose Anchorage Capital is a big MGM shareholder.
Amazon revealed just last week that former executive Jeff Blackburn would be returning to lead the company’s global media and entertainment group—an move that now makes more sense in light of the MGM news. According to Variety, Amazon is increasing its emphasis on media, with the company spending $11 billion on TV shows, movies, and music for its Prime customers in 2020, a 40% rise over 2019.
When it comes to existing content, MGM has a deep and impressive library that, with only one purchase, might give Amazon Prime a leg up on its streaming rivals. Among the studio’s 4,000 film titles and main movie franchises are the James Bond, Hobbit, Rocky, and RoboCop films. On the television side, MGM has 17,000 original episodes for shows like Stargate SG-1, Vikings, Fargo, and American Gladiators, as well as hit reality franchises like 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.”