what logic does it have for Amazon to buy the MGM catalog

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Approval from US regulators is still pending, but it is the last step once the European antitrust commission has approved the purchase. Amazon’s intention to acquire the legendary Metro Goldwyn Mayer studio and its entire catalog for 8,450 million dollars (about 7,685 million euros) is getting closer.

What has the European Commission determined? Specifically, that “MGM’s previous activities as a producer and licensor of audiovisual content are limited compared to the activities of other market players; MGM content cannot be considered essential and there is a wide variety of alternative content.” In other words, the importance of MGM in the European box office is not enough to determine that its purchase would catapult Amazon to a position of preeminence. And he states: “in general, MGM is not among the main production studios, despite its rights to successful film franchises such as James Bond.”

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But not everything is done yet. Amazon could run into a harder hurdle with the US Federal Trade Commission. Some means like ‘Information‘ were talking about the possibility of a lawsuit antitrust against the giant of online commerce. For this, a majority of votes is needed on the part of the members of the Commission, who are currently two Democrats and two Republicans. According to ‘The Wall Street Journal’mid-March is a deadline to make the decision, and if a positive or negative agreement is not reached, Amazon could go ahead with the acquisition.

What does the MGM catalog have that makes it so attractive. James Bond, basically. Although the last 007 movie, ‘no time to die‘, has made a very fair profit margin, the entire franchise is still a very juicy property, with a combined $7 billion at the box office, almost what Amazon wants to pay for MGM in its entirety. In addition to its powerful classic film library (which in Spain can be seen on Filmin by an exclusive agreement), MGM owns other successful franchises such as ‘The Pink Panther’, ‘Rocky’, ‘Poltergeist’, ‘Robocop’, ‘The Addams Family’, ‘Stargate’, ‘GI Joe’ or ‘Tomb Raider’ .

New times, new plans

The purchase of companies as a strategy of the streaming. The first step (giant, it must be recognized) in this sense was the purchase of Fox by Disney. In addition to the already acquired Marvel, Lucasfilm, Pixar and Discovery Channel, Disney+ set up a streaming service literally from scratch, capable of measuring itself against giants like Netflix and HBO, which had spent years or even decades building a catalog based on their own productions.

The way was open for those who had liquidity (or properties to bring together in a single service, as we are seeing is going to be the new trend). The most recent case is that of SkyShowtime, owned by two other large conglomerates (Comcast and ViacomCBS), which will include content from Peacock, Paramount Pictures, Showtime, Nickelodeon and Universal Pictures, among others.

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This is how the new is created. Of course, the intention is not just to exploit old catalogs: nostalgia has a limit. As much as those of us who comb gray hair or don’t comb hair at all are interested in a platform on which to watch the old ‘The Thin Man’ movies, what the platforms intend is to repeat the Disney+ plan: generate content that already comes with the advertising done. In the case of Amazon, for example, spin offs of Rocky, a series of Robocop, multiple exploitations of Bond in cinema and Prime Video, and so on ad infinitum.

Approval from US regulators is still pending, but it is the last step once the European antitrust commission has approved…

Approval from US regulators is still pending, but it is the last step once the European antitrust commission has approved…

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