After news broke that Amazon acquired Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM Studios) for a whopping $8.45 billion, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) protested the sale, appearing to argue that it violates monopoly laws.
“This sale should not go through. @amazon is already a monopoly platform that owns e-commerce, shipping, groceries & the cloud. They shouldn’t be permitted to buy anything else. Period,” he tweeted on Wednesday.
This sale should not go through. @amazon is already a monopoly platform that owns e-commerce, shipping, groceries & the cloud. They shouldn’t be permitted to buy anything else. Period. https://t.co/YyOdQ6iWPQ
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) May 26, 2021
According to The Verge, Amazon will now own “4,000 films and 17,000 hours of TV” as a result of the acquisition, allowing it to compete with the likes of Netflix and Disney+ as the streaming wars continue throughout the decade.
“MGM is perhaps most notable for being the Hollywood studio behind the James Bond and Rocky franchises, but its library runs the gamut from classic films like 12 Angry Men to modern TV shows like The Handmaid’s Tale and Vikings,” reported The Verge. “MGM’s library also includes unscripted TV shows like The Voice and Shark Tank. Amazon says the acquisition will ‘provide customers with greater access’ to MGM’s works and ’empower’ the studio to continue its ‘great storytelling.'”
“Amazon’s media business has so far been a relatively small part of its overall empire, although it still spends billions on content each year. A substantial portion of Prime subscribers make use of the included free Prime Video streaming,” it continued. “Of the 200 million-plus people worldwide who are currently subscribed to Amazon Prime, over 175 million streamed video last year. Adding thousands more films and TV shows could be a boon for both figures.”
Mike Hopkins, senior vice president of Prime Video and Amazon Studios, said that Amazon will continue to enrich the “treasure trove” of IP in MGM’s catalog.
“The real financial value behind this deal is the treasure trove of IP in the deep catalog that we plan to reimagine and develop together with MGM’s talented team,” Hopkins said. “It’s very exciting and provides so many opportunities for high-quality storytelling.”
People on social media had mixed opinions about Hawley’s tweet. Those in favor of the sale argued that Amazon was simply trying to compete with behemoth media empire conglomerates.
“I generally agree with you on most issues but I am not concerned about Amazon ‘monopolizing’ film production/distribution. There seems to be an awful lot of competition in that field. Let’s keep the government out of things to the extent possible,” said one user.
“Monopoly? You have literally hundreds of choices for eCommerce. I recommend Shopify. Shipping – same thing literally hundreds of choices – USPS, UPS, FedEx, DHL come to mind. The cloud? Microsoft, Google, Ionos, and many others offer cloud services,” said another user.
Amazon’s media division sparked intense controversy earlier this month when reports indicated that the company will be spending $465 million on a single season of its upcoming and wildly anticipated “Lord of the Rings” series.