Amazon is reportedly in talks to acquire film studio giant MGM for $9 billion (£6.35 billion) in move which would massively expand its Prime Video service.
MGM (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer) Studios, one of Hollywood’s most recognisable and long running film studios, is understood to have been exploring a possible sale since the end of last year.
Should the deal, first reported by The Information, go ahead Amazon would be able to dramatically expand its Prime Video streaming service’s back catalogue.
MGM owns the rights to some of the biggest films and television shows ever made stretching back to its foundation in 1924, racking up a whopping 177 Oscars during its history.
Most recently it has made television programmes including The Handmaid’s Tale and Fargo, alongside blockbuster movie franchises including Rocky, Robocop and James Bond.
Like many other film studios, MGM struggled to keep its head above water while cinemas were shut during the pandemic, seeing it delay the upcoming 007 movie four times.
This has led to considerable consolidation in the sector, driving what analysts are calling a “streaming arms race” between various studios and providers.
The report came just hours after AT&T announced plans to combine WarnerMedia with Discovery to form a new streaming platform which would own the rights to the Harry Potter, Batman and Game of Thrones franchises.
Amazon is in a strong position to capitalise on the struggles in the sector, and has more than its share of cash to hand to bulk up its streaming offering.
Last week Amazon, which has refused to comment on speculation surrounding the deal, issued its largest ever bond borrowing $18.5 billion in cash investors said it “doesn’t need”.
This came just weeks after Amazon reported another record first quarter, seeing sales soar 44 per cent to over $100 billion.