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Unions call on FTC to derail US$8.45 billion Amazon-MGM deal

Four major US unions have urged the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to block Amazon’s deal to buy movie studio MGM.

Amazon agreed an US$8.45 billion deal to acquire MGM earlier this year. The deal would represent Amazon’s second biggest-ever acquisition, and would see the studio behind shows such as The Handmaid’s Tale and Vikings fall under the retail giant’s umbrella.

The deal however has fallen under scrutiny, with US senator Elizabeth Warren branding it as ‘anticompetitive’ while the FTC launched a probe into the acquisition in July.

Now, the Service Employees International Union, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Communications Workers of America and the United Farmworkers, have published a joint report arguing that the deal would increase Amazon’s streaming library to more than 55,000 titles and give it greater incentive to discriminate against rivals.

By contrast, the report notes that Netflix’s library is made up of just under 20,000 titles.

In a statement, the group said: “The prospect of Amazon acquiring a trove of additional MGM content to build on Amazon’s existing vast library should raise alarm bells. With control over MGM’s vast library, Amazon may acquire enough market power over streaming content to raise prices for SVOD competitors or for SVOD consumers.”

The letter has been sent to Holly Vedova, the director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition.

Tags: Amazon, FTC, MGM

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