Amazon Reportedly In Talks To Buy MGM As Streaming Wars Intensify

May 18, 2021, 6:59 AM
In this undated handout photo from Eon Productions, actor Daniel Craig poses as James Bond. Craig w...
In this undated handout photo from Eon Productions, actor Daniel Craig poses as James Bond. Craig was unveiled as legendary British secret agent James Bond 007 in the 21st Bond film Casino Royale, at HMS President, St Katharine's Way on October 14, 2005 in London, England. (Photo by Greg Williams/Eon Productions via Getty Images)
(Photo by Greg Williams/Eon Productions via Getty Images)

(CNN) – Amazon is reportedly in talks to buy MGM, the vaunted film studio that was a staple of Hollywood’s Golden Age. A tie-up would give the tech firm a big brand to wield as competition in streaming grows fiercer by the day.

MGM’s iconic logo of a roaring lion has played before tons of classic films, including the “James Bond” series, and the studio could be valued at between $7 billion and $10 billion, according to The Information, which cited a person familiar with the situation. The New York Times and the Financial Times have also reported the talks.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNN Business. MGM could not be reached.

A deal has been touted for a while. Reports have circulated for years that Amazon has wanted to buy a big entertainment property to bolster its streaming video service. In 2018, Bloomberg said it was in the running to buy Landmark Theaters, a specialty cinema chain. Last year, the Daily Mail suggested it could purchase AMC Theaters.

But a studio provides a more obvious and immediate benefit for Amazon than a theater chain, since MGM’s films and TV projects could easily find a home on Prime Video.

Prime Video — which features original shows like “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “Jack Ryan,” along with other movies and shows for purchase — has access to a ton of eyeballs. While people can subscribe to the service as a standalone product, Prime Video’s biggest advantage is that it is included in Amazon’s wildly popular Prime program, which offers fast delivery and other benefits for an annual fee.

Amazon doesn’t release a lot of specifics about Prime Video. But Prime now has more than 200 million paid subscribers, the company revealed during its most recent earnings report, adding that streaming hours on Prime Video are up more than 70% year-over-year.

The company has already put a lot into making Prime Video a bigger selling point for its service. A highly anticipated TV show set in the “The Lord of the Rings” universe, for example, is reportedly costing $465 million for a single season.

Amazon has also set its sights on the awards circuit. Its Amazon Studios film division distributed “Manchester by the Sea,” which was nominated for Best Picture at the 2017 Academy Awards. MGM has lost some of its sheen since it produced awards darlings like 1951’s “An American in Paris” and 1959’s “Ben-Hur,” but it remains a renowned brand.

Some MGM franchises also have a proven track record at the box office. “James Bond” is among Hollywood’s most lucrative series, with 2015’s “Spectre” grossing nearly $900 million worldwide, according to BoxOfficeMojo.

The streaming landscape is getting extremely competitive, too. On Monday, AT&T announced that CNN parent company WarnerMedia would be spun off and combined with Discovery. The deal would bring HBO, Warner Bros., HGTV and Food Network all under one roof.

Netflix, meanwhile, continues to pump billions of dollars into expanding its own library of shows and movies. And Disney+ has grown to more than 100 million subscribers in its first year.

The reported price tag for MGM would be pretty hefty. At the top end of the range reported by The Information, it would not be far short of the $13.7 billion that Amazon paid for Whole Foods in 2017 — the tech firm’s most expensive deal ever.

But Amazon is also a corporate behemoth with a market cap of nearly $1.7 trillion. Buying MGM may cost it little more than it earned in net income in the first quarter of 2021.

™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories


COMMUNITY -- "Basic Human Anatomy" Episode 410 -- Pictured: (l-r) Danny Pudi as Abed, Yvette Nicole...
Leah Asmelash, CNN

A ‘Community’ movie is finally on its way

"Community," the comedy series about a group of students at a community college, will return with a long-awaited movie on Peacock.
2 days ago
The Sanderson sisters' "Hocus Pocus" cottage. Kathy Najimy said that she and her costars, Bette Mid...
Emmy Abbassi, CNN

Stay in the ‘Hocus Pocus’ house for only $31

The Sanderson sisters of "Hocus Pocus" fame are inviting guests to stay at their creepy cottage in the remote woods of Salem, Massachusetts, this Halloween season.
3 days ago
CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 28: The Coolio set during Groovin The Moo 2019 on April 28, 2019 in Can...
Sandra Gonzalez, CNN

Coolio, ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ rapper, dead at 59

Coolio, the '90s rapper who lit up the music charts with hits like "Gangsta's Paradise" and "Fantastic Voyage," has died.
4 days ago
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 12: Lizzo accepts Outstanding Competition Program for "Lizzo's ...
Scottie Andrew, CNN

Lizzo played James Madison’s 200-year-old crystal flute at her Washington, DC concert

Ever the pioneeer, Lizzo crossed off another first during the Washington, DC stop of her tour -- playing an approximately 200-year-old crystal flute that belonged to a former US president.
4 days ago
Rapper PnB Rock, seen here in June 2021, in Beverly Hills, California, was fatally shot during a ro...
Associated Press

Woman, minor arrested in shooting of rapper PnB Rock in LA

Two people have been arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of rapper PnB Rock and Los Angeles police are searching for a third suspect they warned should be considered armed and dangerous.
4 days ago
Katie Couric speaks on stage during the Daily Front Row Fashion Media Awards at The Rainbow Room on...

Katie Couric says she’s been treated for breast cancer

Katie Couric says she was diagnosed with breast cancer on the first day of summer, and since has undergone surgery and radiation treatment.
4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
Amazon Reportedly In Talks To Buy MGM As Streaming Wars Intensify