Amazon has announced it will acquire MGM, the movie and TV media company, for $8.45 billion, including company debt, pending regulatory approval.
It will be Amazon’s second largest acquisition after the Whole Foods purchase in 2017 for $13.7 billion.
The deal moves Amazon further into the entertainment industry, with hopes to bolster competition with streaming services Netflix and Disney+.
Amazon doesn’t say how many utilize its Prime Video services, but 200 million have access to it through Amazon Prime memberships.
Buying MGM would give Amazon access to more films, shows and famous characters, including Rocky, RoboCop and Pink Panther. It has more than 4,000 films in its library, including classics such as “Silence of the Lambs” and “Thelma & Louise.” Amazon said it plans to tap MGM’s vast library to create new shows and movies.
The Hollywood studio owns the James Bond catalog and has made several hit shows including “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Fargo.” It also owns premium cable network Epix and owns several popular reality TV shows, including “Shark Tank,” “Survivor” and “The Real Housewives.”
More recent productions include the upcoming James Bond movie “No Time to Die” and an Aretha Franklin biopic called “Respect.”
Amazon already has its own studio, but production has had limited box office success, with hits including “The Big Sick” and “Manchester By The Sea.” Series have included “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Fleabag,” and “Transparent.”
Upcoming projects for Amazon include an adaptation of “Lord of the Rings” and a deal to broadcast NFL’s Thursday Night Football starting in 2022.