Amazon gets EU approval for MGM’s $ 8.45 billion purchase
The company is still waiting for the move from US regulators.
EU officials have unconditionally rubber-stamped Amazon’s $ 8.45 billion bid to buy popular movie and TV studio MGM. The European Commission’s no-confidence regulators have determined that companies have a limited overlap and that the merger will not seriously reduce competition in the theater film and audio-visual materials markets.
“The Commission found that MGM’s upstream activities as a manufacturer and licensor of AV content are limited compared to the activities of other market players; MGM content cannot be considered as required; and various alternative content exist,” the EC said. The share of MGM films in box office earnings in the European Economic Area is limited, and “despite the claims of successful film franchises like James Bond, MGM is not in the top production studios overall.”
Amazon needs a green light from the Federal Trade Commission before closing the deal, which was announced last May. Recent reports suggest that the FTC plans to challenge the merger with a no-confidence motion. However, it requires a majority of commissioners.
The FTC currently has two Democrats and two Republican commissioners. The source said that although they had reached a bilateral agreement on some issues, the vote on the Amazon-MGM suit could be split in favor of the party. The Senate has not yet voted on Alvaro Bedoya’s nomination for the commission.
In any case, the deadline for deciding on a proposed MGM purchase is said to be approaching sometime in mid-March, fast. Until then, unless the FTC issues a legal challenge, Amazon may be free to proceed with the merger.