Online shopping giant Amazon is buying MGM, the movie and TV studio behind the James Bond franchise, “Legally Blonde” and “Shark Tank,” with the hopes of filling its video-streaming service with more stuff to watch.
Amazon said it is paying $8.45 billion for MGM, making it the company’s second largest acquisition after it bought grocer Whole Foods for nearly $14 billion in 2017.
The deal is the latest in the media industry that’s aimed at boosting streaming services to compete against Netflix and Disney+. AT&T and Discovery announced last week that they would combine media companies, creating a powerhouse that includes HGTV, CNN, Food Network and HBO.
Amazon doesn’t disclose how many viewers watch its Prime Video streaming service, but more than 200 million people have access to it because they pay for Prime membership, which gives them faster shipping and other perks.
Amazon said Wednesday that it would use MGM’s vast library, which includes famous characters such as Rocky, RoboCop and the Pink Panther, to create new movies and shows.
In related news, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has picked a date to step down as the company’s CEO.
Bezos, who grew Amazon from an internet bookstore to an online shopping behemoth, said Wednesday that Amazon executive Andy Jassy will take over the CEO role July 5.
A Dutch court on Wednesday ordered Royal Dutch Shell to cut its carbon emissions by net 45% by 2030 compared to 2019 levels in a landmark case brought by climate activism groups, which hailed the decision as a victory for the planet.
The Hague District Court ruled that the Anglo-Dutch energy giant has a duty of care to reduce emissions and that its current reduction plans were not concrete enough.
The decision could set a precedent for similar cases against polluting multinational companies around the world. Activists gathered outside the courtroom erupted into cheers as the decision was read out loud.
“The climate won today,” said Roger Cox, a lawyer for the Dutch arm of Friends of the Earth, which was one of the organizations behind the case.
“This ruling will change the world. Worldwide, people are in the starting blocks to take legal action against oil companies following our example,” Cox added.
The Hague court did not say how Royal Dutch Shell should achieve the ordered cutback, saying the energy giant’s parent company “has complete freedom in how it meets its reduction obligation and in shaping the Shell group’s corporate policy.”
In a written reaction, Shell said it expects to appeal the “disappointing court decision.”
The company said it is already “investing billions of dollars in low-carbon energy, including electric vehicle charging, hydrogen, renewables and biofuels. We want to grow demand for these products and scale up our new energy businesses even more quickly.”