Amazon could be set to announce MGM takeover this week

Reports say takeover could be announced later today.

Following on for last week’s report that Amazon was close to buying MGM for $9 billion, the Wall Street Journal last night quoted their sources as saying a deal could be announced this week (paywall). According to The Wall Street Journal:

The talks between Amazon and MGM have been on-again, off-again since the start of this year, people close to both companies said. Amazon and MGM have been in exclusive talks in recent weeks, the people said. The MGM board was briefed on the matter Sunday night, a person close to the situation said. There are no guarantees they will ultimately reach an agreement.

The article also notes:

While Amazon is getting a big library, the MGM classics such as “The Wizard of Oz” and “Gone with the Wind” were sold long ago along with the rest of the pre-1948 catalog and now belong to AT&T’s Warner Bros.

Not to be outdone, a Bloomberg piece says the announcement could come as early as Tuesday (i.e. today) “according to a person familiar with the matter”. In that case it is likely to be after markets have closed late this evening European time.

While this probably won’t impact the release of No Time to Die, it may have long term implications for the James Bond movies going forward.

As noted by The Spy Command last week, assuming the two parties agree terms the deal will have regulatory hoops to jump through. Any agreed takeover won’t be completed for some time, if at all. That means No Time to Die will go at the pace driven by MGM and Eon Production, only having to navigate any covid-19 hurdles. It could still be delayed again, but not because of Amazon at this point.

Longer term Amazon may or may not have strong ideas of what it wants to do with 007. The other half of the partnership, namely Eon Productions/Danjaq is controlled by Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli. They may want to continue with their fifty percent of Bond now they would have financial stability.

But Michael G Wilson is 79. He has complained about Bond films draining him for years. Just maybe he deserves a more peaceful retirement if that’s what he desires.

His half sister Barbara Broccoli may or may not see a future without Michael’s involvement. Maybe for them it is the right moment to sell up and let Amazon control their franchise in its entirety.

I doubt many fans would be happy if that happens, and at this point it is simply speculation.

As usual we just have to wait and see what happens.

David Leigh founded The James Bond Dossier in 2002. A fan of 007 since the age of 8, he is also author of The Complete Guide to the Drinks of James Bond. You can order a copy here if you don't own it already.

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