Jeff Bezos has a new pet lion.
Amazon.com Inc. has reached a deal to acquire the storied MGM Studios for $8.45 billion, a move that will significantly bulk up its content library and entertainment IP in the escalating war between premium streaming services. In a joint announcement Wednesday, the companies said MGM’s arsenal of more than 4,000 titles—including franchises ranging from James Bond and The Pink Panther to the Rocky and Poltergeist movies—will complement the Seattle e-commerce giant’s existing Amazon Studios, which is largely focused on TV series.
For Amazon, the acquisition is the largest since it scooped up Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion in 2017. It comes as competing firms such as Disney and Netflix are spending more and more billions each year to keep their streaming services replenished with fresh movies, TV series, and familiar franchises.
The content arms race in TV streaming is forcing ever-more consolidation, most recently with the merger between Discovery and WarnerMedia, announced last week. MGM, or Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, has a lineage that dates back to the silent era, but it declined in prominence in the decades following Hollywood’s Golden Age. Since emerging from bankruptcy in 2010, the company had undergone numerous partnership announcements and management changes before reportedly exploring a sale in 2020.
“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,” Mike Hopkins, senior VP of Prime Video and Amazon Studios, said in a statement. “It’s very exciting and provides so many opportunities for high-quality storytelling.”
Amazon shares were up 0.41% to $3,272.08 in early-morning trading.