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Federal Trade Commission to Probe MGM Acquisition by Amazon

The sale will apparently be scrutinised by the Federal Trade Commission following Amazon’s recent acquisition of MGM, which means Lina Khan, a long-time opponent of Amazon who recently became FTC chair, will have jurisdiction over the agreement. The case could indicate how she will treat future antitrust complaints involving Amazon.

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, citing people familiar with the case, that the FTC requested control of the sale during agency negotiations because it is now handling the ongoing antitrust investigation. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission have split up antitrust investigations of the digital titans — Apple, Google, and Facebook are also under investigation — but the FTC pressed for jurisdiction over Amazon-MGM.

In either case, the sale would have been scrutinised. Large acquisitions and mergers that may or may not result in antitrust difficulties are routinely scrutinised. The FTC’s spokeswoman declined to comment on the report. Prior to publication, Amazon did not respond to many requests for comment.

MGM was acquired by Amazon in May for approximately $9 billion. Amazon acquired tens of thousands of hours of entertainment, including a large portion of the James Bond franchise. Mike Hopkins, senior vice president of Prime Video and Amazon Studios, said, “The value behind this deal is the treasure trove of IP in the deep catalog that we plan to reimagine and develop together with MGM talented team.”

Amazon does not have a separate or supplementary cost for their streaming service. Amazon’s flagship streaming service, like two-day shipping, free grocery delivery, and Amazon Music, is included in the whole experience. It doesn’t have the lustre of competitors like Disney+ and Netflix, and its originals haven’t exactly caught on like WandaVision or Stranger Things.

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