The Federal Trade Commission will reportedly review Amazon’s proposed $8.45 billion acquisition of MGM, according to The Wall Street Journal. This comes after new chairwoman Lina Khan, who has previously called for tamping down Amazon’s power, was sworn in to head the FTC.
The FTC, as well as the Justice Department, wields the authority when it comes to antitrust issues.
Neither Amazon or the independent government agency commented on the news.
Deadline writes that antitrust experts have expressed doubts that the merger can be blocked, though Amazon’s announcement that it planned to purchase MGM led to calls by lawmakers to take a close look at the move.
For those in need of a refresher, last month Amazon announced it’d be buying MGM for the aforementioned 10-figure sum. That meant that MGM’s massive catalog, comprised of approximately 4,000 films and TV shows, would head Amazon’s way. As we wrote when this was announced, MGM’s content includes the Bond movies, The Hobbit franchise, the Rocky films, Silence of the Lambs, The Magnificent Seven, and lots more movies, plus TV shows like Vikings, Fargo, American Gladiators, The Voice, Survivor, Shark Tank, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and also lots more.
By plunking down $8.45 billion for that roster, Amazon would be making its second-biggest purchase ever (still far behind the $13.7 billion that was ponied up for Whole Foods).
Notably Amazon and MGM’s agreement came very shortly after WarnerMedia and Discovery made news for a $43 billion combo that estimates say could take as long as a year to receive approval.
It also comes as Amazon deals with scrutiny regarding its business practices. Recent headlines related to those include a 2020 House Judiciary Committee investigation, plus a separate reported FTC/state attorneys general investigation over how it treats third party sellers.