Union group says U.S. ought to reject Amazon’s plan to purchase MGM


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – 4 large unions, together with the Service Staff Worldwide Union and the Teamsters, urged the U.S. Federal Commerce Fee on Monday to oppose Amazon.com’s plan to purchase Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, saying it might scale back competitors within the streaming video market.

Amazon introduced the $8.45 billion deal in Might, saying the acquisition of the fabled U.S. film studio, dwelling to the James Bond franchise, would give it a library of movies and TV reveals to compete with rivals like Netflix and Disney+.

The unions, in a report by an entity they assist referred to as the Strategic Organizing Heart, argued that the deal would convey Amazon’s industry-leading streaming library to greater than 55,000 titles, with extra below improvement, which might give the corporate higher incentive to discriminate towards rivals. Netflix has the second-greatest variety of titles at just below 20,000, the letter stated.

“The prospect of Amazon buying a trove of further MGM content material to construct on Amazon’s present huge library ought to increase alarm bells,” the group stated. “With management over MGM’s huge library, Amazon could purchase sufficient market energy over streaming content material to boost costs for (streaming video-on-demand) SVOD opponents or for SVOD shoppers.”

Amazon, which the group stated grew exponentially through the U.S. coronavirus lockdown, has used its streaming service to draw new Prime members. Prime members make up some 68 p.c of Amazon consumers and spend considerably greater than non-Prime consumers, the group stated.

The Service Staff Worldwide Union, Worldwide Brotherhood of Teamsters, Communications Staff of America and the United Farmworkers, despatched the letter to Holly Vedova, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competitors.

Amazon handily beat again an effort by the Retail, Wholesale and Division Retailer Union to arrange a Bessemer, Alabama, warehouse earlier this yr. However unions have continued to arrange, with the RWDSU gearing up probably to strive once more.

(Reporting by Diane Bartz; Enhancing by Dan Grebler)

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