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Amazon agrees to buy iconic Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer movie company for $8.45b

New York: Amazon.com Inc. agreed to buy the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer movie company for $8.45 billion, a bet that a nearly century-old Hollywood icon can feed an insatiable demand for streaming content.

The takeover is Amazon's biggest acquisition since it agreed to buy Whole Foods in 2017 for $13.7 billion but follows investments of about $11 billion on content for its streaming video and music services last year alone.

The real financial value behind this deal is the treasure trove of IP in the deep catalog that we plan to reimagine and develop together with MGM's talented team

Mike Hopkins, senior vice president of Prime Video and Amazon Studios

The proliferation of streaming services, including newer arrivals such as HBO Max and Disney+, has put pressure on Amazon to acquire more programming. And CEO Jeff Bezos has made no secret of his desire for movie moguldom, and MGM's vast backlog provides an abundance of streaming material, not to mention an opportunity to mine the iconic James Bond and Rocky franchises for new films and televisions shows.

MGM, currently owned by hedge funds including Anchorage Capital Group, has been seen as a takeover target for years, but was never able to close a sale before. The company made a fresh push last year, when it reportedly hired advisers to seek offers.