Labor group says US should reject Amazon’s plan to buy MGM

A smartphone with the Amazon logo is seen in front of the MGM logo displayed in this illustration taken on May 26, 2021. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic

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WASHINGTON, Nov.22 (Reuters) – Four major unions, including the Service Employees International Union and the Teamsters, on Monday urged the United States Federal Trade Commission to oppose Amazon.com’s (AMZN.O) plan to ‘buy Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, saying it would reduce competition in the streaming video market.

Amazon announced the $ 8.45 billion deal in May, saying the purchase of the legendary American film studio, home to the James Bond franchise, would give it a library of movies and TV shows to rival rivals like Netflix and Disney +. Read more

The unions, in a report from an entity they support called the Strategic Organizing Center, argued that the deal would take Amazon’s industry-leading streaming library to more than 55,000 titles, with more in development, which would further encourage the company to discriminate. rivals. Netflix has the second-highest number of titles with just under 20,000, according to the letter.

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“The prospect of Amazon acquiring a wealth of additional MGM content to build on Amazon’s existing vast library should sound alarm bells,” the group said. “With control of MGM’s vast library, Amazon can gain enough market power over streaming content to raise prices for SVOD (video streaming on demand) competitors or for SVOD consumers. “

Amazon, which the group says has grown exponentially during the U.S. coronavirus lockdown, has used its streaming service to attract new Prime members. Prime members make up about 68% of Amazon buyers and spend significantly more than non-Prime buyers, the group said.

The Service Employees International Union, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the Communications Workers of America and the United Farmworkers sent the letter to Holly Vedova, director of the FTC’s Competition Bureau.

Amazon easily pushed back efforts by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union to organize a warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, earlier this year. But the unions continued to organize, with the RWDSU potentially preparing to try again. Read more

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Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Dan Grebler

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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