Amazon said to be in talks to buy MGM movie studio

Move would be tech giant’s biggest push into entertainment

The status of Amazon’s discussions with MGM aren’t clear. Photograph: iStock

The status of Amazon’s discussions with MGM aren’t clear. Photograph: iStock

 

Amazon. com is in discussions to acquire the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer movie studio in what would be its biggest push into entertainment yet, tech-news outlet the Information has reported.

MGM, the storied Hollywood company behind the James Bond series, would help beef up Amazon’s film studio and streaming services, according to the report, which cited unidentified people familiar with the situation. The status of Amazon’s discussions with MGM aren’t clear, and it’s possible that no deal will emerge, the Information said.

MGM and Amazon declined to comment on the report.

Late last year, MGM reportedly hired advisers to explore a sale. It also held discussions with Apple and Netflix about taking its new James Bond film directly to streaming, but the company has said it’s committed to a theatrical release.

At Amazon, long-time executive Jeff Blackburn is returning to the company following a brief departure to join Silicon Valley venture capital firm Bessemer Venture Partners. Blackburn will oversee Amazon’s entire entertainment division, including the Prime Video streaming service, Amazon Studios and the video-game-streaming site Twitch.

MGM traces its roots back to the 1920s merger of Marcus Loew’s Metro films with a movie company run by Hollywood legend Louis B Mayer. While making great pictures such as Dr Zhivago and 2001: A Space Odyssey, MGM drifted in and out of financial distress in the second half of the 20th century. Over the decades it was owned by Time, CNN founder Ted Turner and more than once by the late billionaire Kirk Kerkorian. – Bloomberg