Concerns of a monopoly grow as Amazon plans to buy MGM

Washington D.C. Bureau

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Amazon announced on Wednesday plans to purchase MGM studios for $8.45 billion. The two companies have already signed an agreement.

The purchase would bolster Amazon’s video library with thousands of TV shows and iconic movies.

Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., is slamming Amazon’s decision.

“I think Amazon shouldn’t be able to buy anything more,” Hawley said. “The idea that they would buy a major entertainment company and further expand their monopoly power into entertainment and news and information, I think that’s particular dangerous.”

Hawley is already proposing a bill to break up Amazon. He says this new deal could raise prices and limit consumer options.

Jaci Clement with the Fair Media Council tracks big media activity, and she calls the merger alarming.

“It may look like a whole lot of content out there but it’s very homogenized,” Clement said. “Anytime there’s a big merger like this prices don’t go down they always go up.”

But a spokesperson with Amazon said the purchase will only improve their customer’s movie and TV experience.

The company also points out this deal is only a fraction of the size of the $71 billion merger between Disney and Twenty First Century Fox in 2019.

“I’m just not sure who, what consumer this could possibly hurt,” James Bailey, a business professor at George Washington University, said.

He says the backlash is premature.

“It’s very easy to be all gloom and doom about this,” Bailey said. “I just don’t see how this constricts the business so much where you and I and the FCC should be concerned that they’re now going to be able to control prices.”

The Federal Communications Commission will have to approve the acquisition.

Last year, the House Judiciary Committee on antitrust released a report which determined Amazon has monopoly power over third-party sellers on its marketplace.

On Tuesday, the D.C. Attorney General’s office announced its suing amazon on antitrust grounds.

*Correction. A previous version of this article misidentified the state that Sen. Hawley represents. The text has been updated. We regret the error.

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