Amazon received some good news in regards to its acquisition of MGM. Reuters is reporting that the European Union Commission in charge of antitrust is set to approve the online retailer’s USD $8.5 billion deal to purchase the movie and television studio.
The EU is said to be nearing an announcement on the acquisition by 15 March, though the internet retail giant is still awaiting a similar ruling from the Federal Trade Commission in the United States before the transaction can be completed. Thus, last week Amazon certified to the FTC that it has provided the oversight body with all requested information on the deal. This starts an official timeframe in which the FTC must file any legal challenge to the acquisition by mid-March at the latest.
The chairwoman of the FTC, Lina Khan, has previously gone on record stating that the government should throttle Amazon’s growth into unrelated fields. Now all eyes are on Khan to see if she’ll stand in the retail giant’s way by filing a challenge over the acquisition. If an approval is not granted or a filing is not made by the mid-March deadline, then Amazon can close the deal. The FTC could always still challenge the acquisition with an antitrust lawsuit after it’s completed, which would take at least a year to resolve.
Picking up MGM would give Amazon access to the studio’s vast library of more than 4,000 films from its 97 year old history, not to mention countless television shows, for its Prime Video streaming service. The acquisition was originally announced in May of 2021.