EU approve Amazon’s acquisition of MGM

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The EU Anti-Trust regulator has approved Amazon’s purchase of MGM, which includes titles such as the James Bond franchise. All that’s left to enable the deal to proceed is the US Federal Trade Commission approval.

Despite owning the James Bond franchise, the EU found that MGM’s films represent only a limited share of box office revenues in the EEA and that overall MGM is not among the top production studios so competition won’t be limited by the acquisition. The Commission also concluded that the addition of MGM’s content into Amazon’s Prime Video offer would not have a significant impact on Amazon’s position as provider of marketplace services.

Even in the national markets where Amazon has a sizeable market presence among video streaming platforms, the Commission found that Amazon faces strong competition from other players. This deal will however bolster Amazon’s presence and ability to attract new customers.

For Amazon, this is likely to ultimately be more about attracting customers to sign up for Prime than about pure film production. Title such as The Grand Tour and Clarkson’s Farm have been convincers enough to get people to convert from regular buyers to Prime subscribers and once a customer has Prime their purchase incidence on Amazon rises, tying the consumer ever more closely into Amazon’s ecosystem.

It will be interesting to see how many future MGM films remain box office releases and how much of their production goes into exclusive Prime content. It’s hard to see the next James Bond blockbuster being a Prime streaming launch rather than a cinema experience, but it’s certainly a possibility!

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