‘Stop the Monopoly Madness’: Biden Urged to Block Amazon’s $8.5 Billion Purchase of MGM

Critics of the deal, announced Wednesday, say it would harm workers, consumers and U.S. democracy.

Progressive opponents of corporate consolidation are pushing the Biden administration to intervene after Amazon announced Wednesday that it has agreed to acquire the Hollywood film and television studio MGM for nearly $8.5 billion, a deal that critics denounced as harmful to workers, consumers and U.S. democracy.

“In announcing plans to buy MGM, Jeff Bezos placed a big softball on a tee for the Biden administration to knock over the fence,” Barry Lynn, executive director of Open Markets Institute, said in a statement. “It should be immediately blocked.”

As the Wall Street Journal reported, Amazon’s purchase of MGM will net the e-commerce behemoth “a library of over 4,000 films, including iconic franchises such as ‘James Bond’ and ‘Rocky,’ and classics such as ‘The Silence of the Lambs,’ ‘Raging Bull,’ and ’12 Angry Men.’”

“The TV catalog includes critically acclaimed shows such as ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’ ‘Fargo’ and ‘Vikings,’” the newspaper noted.

Made public just days after AT&T announced a $43 billion agreement to combine its content arm WarnerMedia with Discovery, Amazon’s purchase of MGM, according to the Financial Times, “propel[s] media dealmaking so far this year to its highest level since the turn of the century with more than $240 billion worth of transactions announced.”

The new acquisition prompted fresh calls for congressional action to break up Amazon, which in recent years has become what one observer described as “a sprawling array of loosely related businesses under one roof.”