Tuesday, June 15, 2021

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MGM has a library of titles, including the James Bond franchise.



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MGM Studios

Amazon.com Inc.

AMZN 0.32%

agreed to buy the Hollywood studio MGM Holdings, in a deal that would turn a film operation founded in the silent era into a streaming asset for the e-commerce company.

The equity value of the acquisition is about $6.5 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter. Including the assumption of debt, the deal is valued at $8.45 billion.

The pact signals that Amazon is renewing its emphasis on entertainment and seizing an opportunity to jump up in weight class.

The deal would mark Amazon’s second-largest acquisition in history, behind its $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods in 2017, and highlight the premium that content is commanding as streaming wars force consolidation and drive bigger players to bulk up with assets that help them compete.

The studio is best known for classics such as “Singin’ in the Rain,” as well as “Rocky” and “The Pink Panther.” MGM has a library of titles, including the James Bond franchise, that, in contemporary Hollywood, is most valuable as an asset that can be used to drive subscriber sign-ups to Amazon’s Prime Video streaming service.

The deal could heighten antitrust concerns for Amazon, which is already at the center of multiple probes because of its size and power.

Write to Dave Sebastian at dave.sebastian@wsj.com

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

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