LONDON (BBC News): Amazon is reportedly in talks to buy the historic MGM Studios for $9bn (£6.35bn). MGM is one of Hollywood’s most famous studios, with its Leo the Lion logo and an almost century-long history.
The sale would give the tech giant’s Prime streaming service access to a vast back catalogue of iconic content.
The reports come just hours after telecoms giant AT&T agreed to combine its WarnerMedia unit with Discovery in a deal to create a new streaming giant.
MGM Holdings, the parent company of MGM Studios, has reportedly been exploring a sale since the end of last year, according to media reports.
The purchase by Amazon of MGM Studios would mark a major step for its Prime streaming service.
MGM Studios has a huge catalogue of films and television shows covering the last ten decades, through the Golden Age of Hollywood to the present day. It is home to some of the biggest movies of all time, including Ben-Hur and The Wizard of Oz.
In more recent times it has produced the James Bond movie franchise and The Handmaid’s Tale TV series.
Amazon and MGM have not yet responded to requests for comment from the BBC.
On Monday an agreement was announced to put together movie giant Warner Bros. Entertainment, which owns the Harry Potter and Batman franchises, with Discovery’s home, cooking, nature and science shows.
WarnerMedia-owned HBO and HBO Max now have around 64 million subscribers worldwide, with hits such as Game of Thrones and Succession under its belt.
But it is currently dwarfed by larger rivals like Netflix, which has 208 million subscribers, and Disney+, which has more than 100 million.
Discovery, whose portfolio includes Animal Planet and the Discovery Channel, reaches more than 88 million US homes, while its Discovery+ streaming service, which launched in January, has 15m subscribers.
“This is a streaming arms race and AT&T is making an offensive strategic move to further bulk up its content in the battle versus Netflix, Disney, and Amazon,” Dan Ives from Wedbush Securities told the BBC.