Amazon has officially brought yet another company under its wing. Jeff Bezos’ empire announced today that it has closed its $8.5 billion acquisition of MGM. The deal, which was first announced back in May 2021, adds more than 4,000 movies and 17,000 TV shows to Amazon’s Prime Video catalog.
This merger means that giant franchises like the James Bond series, as well as Silence of the Lambs, Rocky, and The Hobbit, now belong to Amazon. The company now owns the rights to some storied TV classics, such as The Apprentice and the fabled racist Donald Trump tapes.
With their ownership of MGM’s studios now in effect, Amazon plans to use the acquisition to boost Prime Video and Amazon Studios’ growing catalog of new originals.
“The storied, nearly century-old studio — with more than 4,000 film titles, 17,000 TV episodes, 180 Academy Awards, and 100 Emmy Awards — will complement Prime Video and Amazon Studios’ work in delivering a diverse offering of entertainment choices to customers,” the company said in a statement.
According to an Amazon rep (via Variety), Mike Hopkins, senior VP of Prime Video and Amazon Studios, will now oversee MGM’s management team as well. Some industry insiders are speculating that current Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke will serve as the chief of a combined studio.
“MGM has a nearly century-long legacy of producing exceptional entertainment, and we share their commitment to delivering a broad slate of original films and television shows to a global audience,” Hopkins said in a statement. “We welcome MGM employees, creators, and talent to Prime Video and Amazon Studios, and we look forward to working together to create even more opportunities to deliver quality storytelling to our customers.”
Right now, it’s unclear what this merger means for MGM-produced series that currently live on other streaming platforms, such as Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale and Fargo.
The MGM deal is Amazon’s second-largest acquisition to date, behind its purchase of Whole Foods for $13.7 billion in 2017.