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Amazon Pushes FTC For Decision On $8.45B MGM Acquisition

 |  March 6, 2022

Amazon is putting pressure on the Federal Trade Commission to deliver a verdict on its proposed $8.45 billion acquisition of MGM, reported the Wall Street Journal. 

Amazon recently certified to the FTC that it had provided all the information requested by antitrust investigators, according to the Journal. That certification triggered a mid-March deadline for the FTC, the report said, citing anonymous sources. 

Related: FTC Gears Up For Potential Challenge To Amazon’s $8.5B MGM Takeover

Such a short deadline could prove difficult to meet for the FTC, allowing Amazon to close the deal. In this scenario, Amazon wouldn’t necessarily be clear of the threat of an FTC action, however. The commission still has the ability to challenge mergers and acquisitions after they close.

In recent months, the FTC has warned some companies that their deals may remain under investigation even after the legally mandated waiting period has expired. This, among other signals of tighter oversight over Big Tech mergers in general, has become a salient aspect of the Biden administration’s tougher antitrust approach.

The shift has been criticized by some commentators for adding a degree of uncertainty to merger transactions, especially those that become politically unpopular.

Amazon, which has been the focus of a long-running investigation into the company’s business practices, as well as a probe into the MGM deal, could fall into that category. The FTC could also file suit, at which point the merger outcome would be determined by antitrust litigation that could go on for months or years.

Amazon’s purchase of MGM has drawn opposition from both politicians and labor organizations, concerned that the acquisition of a major film studio will increase Amazon’s ability to leverage its power in the Streaming Video-On-Demand market, possibly harming consumers, rival competitors, and film industry workers.