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Variety reports that Amazon has completed its purchase of the iconic movie studio MGM.  The $8.5 billion acquisition, according to the company, means that "the storied, nearly century-old studio — with more than 4,000 film titles, 17,000 TV episodes, 180 Academy Awards, and 100 Emmy Awards — will complement Prime Video and Amazon Studios’ work in delivering a diverse offering of entertainment choices to customers."

According to the story, "The completion of the transaction comes two days after the Amazon-MGM deal received clearance from the European Union’s antitrust regulator," which ruled that the deal was not anti-competitive.  However, in the US the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has neither approved nor challenged the deal;  Amazon was able to complete it because the FTC had not challenged it before a mid-March deadline.

However, "an individual with knowledge of the matter told Variety the FTC does not formally approve transactions; it either challenges them or it doesn’t and, should the agency choose to challenge them, the FTC may do so before or after they are consummated."

Variety points out that in addition to the James Bond, Pink Panther and Rocky movie franchises, MGM’s film catalog includes “12 Angry Men,” “Basic Instinct,” “Legally Blonde,” “Moonstruck,” “Poltergeist,” “Raging Bull,” “Robocop,” “Silence of the Lambs,” “Stargate,” “Thelma & Louise,” “Tomb Raider,” “The Magnificent Seven,” “The Thomas Crown Affair” and … on the TV front, the studio has produced “Fargo,” “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Vikings.”

The Variety story points out that "analysts believe that it is Bond that drove Amazon’s acquisition. The spy series continues to be popular and there’s the potential that it could be built out to include shows and other spinoffs."  However, "Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, the producing team behind the James Bond series, have creative control over the movies and have made it clear that future 007 films will debut in cinemas."  If Amazon wants to build out the franchise "to include shows and other spinoffs … those would require the sign-off of Broccoli and Wilson," who have shown little interest in doing so.