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Amazon’s $8.5 billion MGM deal under FTC review

According to sources, the FTC's review could be part of a broader antitrust probe into Amazon

Amazon MGM deal
Photo: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

Amazon‘s acquisition of MGM Studios will be reviewed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. The FTC’s new chairwoman, Lina Khan, has been critical of Amazon.com, will review the company’s planned purchase of MGM, a source familiar with the matter said.

Amazon said in May that it would buy the U.S. movie studio, home to the James Bond franchise, in an $8.45 billion deal that would give it a huge library of films and TV shows to compete with streaming rivals led by Netflix and Disney+.

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Lina Khan was sworn in as FTC chair on June 15 in what was broadly seen as a victory for progressives seeking tougher antitrust enforcement. In 2017, Khan wrote a highly regarded article, “Amazon‘s Antitrust Paradox,” for the Yale Law Journal. It said the traditional antitrust focus on price was inadequate to identify antitrust harms done by Amazon.

According to WSJ, the FTC’s review could be part of a broader investigation into Amazon, as the agency does not proactively review a merger like that of Amazon and MGM, which is outside its typical jurisdiction.

READ ALSO: Amazon snaps up James Bond owner MGM for $8.45 billion as streaming war heats up

The FTC also has an antitrust probe open into Amazon, and has reviewed other mergers that the company has done. The agency shares the work of merger enforcement with the Justice Department.

The source was unauthorised to speak to the press on the matter and asked for anonymity.

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