Amazon’s 8.45 billion purchase of MGM is inciting concerns from the federal government.
“This is a major acquisition that has the potential to impact millions of consumers,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) said in a statement. “The Department of Justice must conduct a thorough investigation to ensure that this deal won’t risk harming competition.”
Amazon and MGM announced the definitive merger agreement earlier this morning, which would transfer over 4,000 movies and 17,000 shows to Amazon’s catalogue and would include properties like the “Legally Blonde,” “Silence of the Lambs,” “Rocky” and the James Bond franchise. It is the big tech company’s second largest deal, just behind the $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods in 2017.
Klobuchar’s announcement follows the Washington, D.C. attorney general’s filing of an antitrust lawsuit against Amazon. It alleged the e-commerce company engaged in anticompetitive practices, such as price fixing.
“This is also a reminder of why we need to fund our antitrust agencies so they can take on investigations of multi-billion dollar deals,” Klobuchar, who chairs the antitrust subcommittee, added. “Our government cannot ensure major corporations are playing by the rules if enforcement agencies are chronically underfunded. My bipartisan legislation, which recently passed through the Judiciary Committee, would give the antitrust agencies additional resources to conduct rigorous reviews of large mergers.”
The Democrat senator is seeing support from across the aisle. Rep. Josh Hawley (R-MO), who published “The Tyranny of Big Tech” earlier this month, tweeted that “This sale should not go through. Amazon is already a monopoly platform that owns e-commerce, shipping, groceries & the cloud. They shouldn’t be permitted to buy anything else. Period.”
It’s been a busy day for the Jeff Bezos-founded company. The CEO announced that he will step down from his role on July 5, which will be taken over by Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy. Still, Bezos will remain part of the company as executive chairman, abiding by any of Amazon’s major decisions as it bulldozes through the media landscape.