In Tuesday’s announcement of Amazon’s $8.5 billion acquisition of MGM—the historic film studio behind the Rocky , Legally Blonde , and James Bond franchises—Mike Hopkins, senior vice president of Prime Video and Amazon Studios, naturally dropped two major Hollywood buzzwords. “The real financial value behind this deal,” Hopkins said, “is the treasure trove of” —ding-ding-ding— “ IP in the deep catalog that we plan to reimagine and develop together with MGM’s talented team. It’s very exciting and provides so many opportunities for high-quality” —ding-ding-ding— “ storytelling .” Yes, in the latest proposed media merger, intellectual property will be married with innovative storytelling to create a company like no other. This has never been done before . . . if you don’t count Disney, Comcast, Sony, ViacomCBS, or the 10-day-old prospective merger of Warner-Discovery. Indeed, just as Marvel and Star Wars spin-off TV shows now populate Disney Plus, prepare yourself for a Rocky -themed reality-TV show (with real boxers!) and as many Bond prequels as Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson (the highly protective producers of the franchise) will allow for, to roll out on Amazon Prime Video. What is more worrisome, though, is the even greater monopolistic foothold that this deal gives one of the world’s richest and most powerful companies, one whose market cap is not in the billions but trillions. Now, beyond just selling its own products, like baby oils, in its own marketplace and thus edging out smaller, independent businesses, Amazon will be doing the same thing with movies and TV shows at a scale of 10 times what it’s currently been doing in entertainment.
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Why Amazon’s $8.5 billion acquisition of MGM should be blocked