James Bond is now an Amazon Employee
James Bond is now an Amazon employee.
The tech giant has closed its $8.5 billion deal to acquire MGM, the home of the Bond franchise and one of the most iconic movie studios in Hollywood history, Amazon announced Thursday.
The move looks to bolster the company's position in the entertainment world while giving its streaming service, Amazon Prime Video, even more content to fill its already extensive library. This should help Amazon challenge rivals such as Netflix (NFLX) and Disney+ in the hyper competitive streaming market.
The deal, which was first announced in May, brings MGM and its more than 4,000 films and 17,000 TV shows under the Amazon umbrella. None of which is bigger than the James Bond franchise, which has racked up billions of dollars over the past 60 years. The suave British spy's latest film, "No Time to Die," has earned more than $770 million globally since its October release.
"MGM has a nearly century-long legacy of producing exceptional entertainment, and we share their commitment to delivering a broad slate of original films and television shows to a global audience," Mike Hopkins, SVP of Prime Video and Amazon Studios, said in a statement.
MGM also houses other notable franchises, including "Rocky," "The Handmaid's Tale," "RoboCop," "Legally Blonde" and the Epix TV network.
The deal closed without a challenge from the Federal Trade Commission.
It was reported by The Information in July that the regulator might fight the deal. However, The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that Amazon "certified to the FTC that it had provided all the information requested by antitrust investigators" and a deadline was set for the agency to file any legal challenge by mid-March.
The European Union's antitrust commission also approved the deal, saying that Amazon's purchase of MGM would "raise no competition concerns."
Beyond its content slate, another incentive for Amazon (AMZN) to acquire MGM is to help it keep pace in a media landscape that is seeing increased merger activity, fueled by the ever evolving streaming marketplace.
For example, CNN parent company WarnerMedia is merging with Discovery in a deal that was announced last year.
That merger, which brings together content from multiple major providers including Warner Bros., Discovery Channel, CNN, HBO, TNT, and HGTV, received approval from the Justice Department last month.