On Tuesday, Amazon announced it had reached a deal to buy movie and TV giant MGM for $ 8.45 billion – and leading antitrust figures in Congress aren’t happy. In a letter, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) today raised the alarm about the magnitude and scope of the deal and called on the Justice Department to investigate the acquisition before closing.
“This is a major acquisition that has the potential to affect millions of consumers,” the senator said in a statement Wednesday. “The Justice Department must conduct a thorough investigation to ensure that this deal does not jeopardize competition.” Klobuchar chairs the Senate’s committee that oversees competition in digital markets.
Justice did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
MGM is behind some of the most popular Hollywood franchises, including the James Bond and Rocky Libraries. The merger agreement indicates that Amazon is serious about expanding its currently limited media empire. A majority of Amazon Prime subscribers, more than 175 million of more than 200 million people have streamed content on the company’s Prime Video service. The merger would bring hundreds of movies and TV shows into that library.
Concerns about Amazon’s new acquisition aren’t limited to Democrats. Republicans like Rep. Ken Buck (CO) and Senator Josh Hawley (MO) said Amazon should not buy the media company.
“This sale cannot go ahead. Amazon is already a monopoly platform that owns ecommerce, shipping, groceries and the cloud. They shouldn’t buy anything else. Period, ”Hawley said in a tweet Wednesday.
Buck quote-tweeted Hawley’s tweet, agrees with his statement. In a statement to The edge On Wednesday, a Buck spokesperson confirmed he thought the merger should not go through.
“Rep. Buck is deeply concerned about Amazon’s extensive monopolistic power that continues to grow through acquisitions,” a Buck spokesman said in a statement. The edge Wednesday. “He is also disappointed with the FTC’s lack of control and inadequate enforcement of antitrust laws over the past decade.”
In recent years, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have been deeply investigating Big Tech companies such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google. Amazon has been a particular lightning rod for Republicans because of a long-running feud between founder Jeff Bezos and former President Donald Trump.
On Tuesday, Amazon faced its first major antitrust lawsuit, filed by DC Attorney General Karl Racine. The lawsuit accuses the e-commerce giant of stifling competition and imposing strict conditions on outside sellers and how they price their products.
“The DC Attorney General has it the other way around – sellers set their own prices for the products they offer in our store,” an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement in response to the lawsuit Wednesday. “Amazon prides itself on offering low prices across the widest range, and like any other store, we reserve the right not to highlight offers to customers that are not competitively priced.”