Following a rumor last year that stated MGM had gone out to Apple to assess interest in a prospective acquisition, Amazon said today that it had reached an agreement with the entertainment firm to buy it for $8.45 billion.
In the face of increased competition from Netflix, Disney+, and Apple TV+, Amazon Prime Video's movie and TV show portfolio will most certainly be bolstered by the acquisition of MGM. Amazon has stated that it will assist in preserving MGM's legacy and film catalog and providing customers with wider access to current works such as the James Bond franchise.
Mike Hopkins, Senior Vice President of Amazon Studios and Prime Video:
"12 Angry Men, Basic Instinct, Creed, James Bond, Legally Blonde, Moonstruck, Poltergeist, Rocky, Silence of the Lambs, Stargate, Thelma & Louise, Tomb Raider, The Magnificent Seven, The Pink Panther, The Thomas Crown Affair, and many other icons—as well as 17,000 TV shows—including Fargo, The Handmaid's Tale, and Vikings—are just a few examples."
"The true financial worth of this transaction is the vast amount of intellectual property in the deep archive that we intend to rethink and develop with MGM's excellent team. It's incredibly exciting, and it opens up a lot of possibilities for great storytelling."
Regulatory approvals and other typical closing conditions apply to the transaction.
Apple's TV+ lineup continues to grow, with "The Me You Can't See," a mental health docuseries from Oprah Winfrey and Prince Harry, premiering on May 21. A sequel to the series will be released on May 28.
What is MGM?
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (formerly known as Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, started as MGM; commonly referred to as Metro; frequent metonym: the Lion or Leo) is an American media corporation that primarily produces and distributes feature films and television programming. MGM's corporate headquarters are in Beverly Hills, California, and it is one of the world's oldest film studios.
Marcus Loew, an entertainment mogul, acquired ownership of Metro Pictures, Goldwyn Pictures, and Louis B. Mayer Pictures in 1924, forming MGM. The new firm developed to become one of Hollywood's "big five" film companies.
The studio cultivated a stable of contract stars, with the tagline "more stars than there are in heaven." The studio produced a slew of blockbuster musicals and took home a slew of Academy Awards. From studios and backlots to full technical facilities, the organization was a full-service production firm.
Later that year, MGM emerged from bankruptcy under the control of its creditors, and Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum, the co-chairmen and co-CEOs of Spyglass Entertainment, were named co-chairmen and co-CEOs of Metro-Goldwyn-holding Mayer's company.
Barber has now departed the company, and the firm began looking for a buyer in 2020 to pay off its debts. Amazon announced its intention to buy the studio for $8.45 billion on May 26, 2021, with no specific closing date.
The firm now creates feature films and television programs and purchases and distributes its own films. The Rocky and Creed franchises and the James Bond series are all produced by this business. The Handmaid's Tale is one of MGM Television's most recent productions.