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Union group says U.S. should reject Amazon’s plan to buy MGM

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WASHINGTON, Nov 22 (Reuters) – Four huge unions, together with the Service Employees International Union and the Teamsters, urged the U.S. Federal Trade Commission on Monday to oppose Amazon.com’s (AMZN.O) plan to buy Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, saying it will cut back competitors within the streaming video market.

Amazon introduced the $8.45 billion deal in May, 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 exhibits to compete with rivals like Netflix and Disney+. learn extra

The unions, in a report by an entity they help referred to as the Strategic Organizing Center, argued that the deal would carry Amazon’s industry-leading streaming library to greater than 55,000 titles, with extra beneath growth, which might give the corporate larger incentive to discriminate towards rivals. Netflix has the second-greatest variety of titles at slightly below 20,000, the letter mentioned.

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

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

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

Amazon handily beat again an effort by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union to arrange a Bessemer, Alabama, warehouse earlier this yr. But unions have continued to arrange, with the RWDSU gearing up probably to attempt once more. learn extra

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Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Dan Grebler

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