Amazon's buyout of MGM might take much longer than planned. The Information sources say the Federal Trade Commission has launched an "in-depth" investigation into Amazon's MGM purchase over the potential for antitrust abuse. Officials are concerned about the potential for the acquisition to "illegally boost" Amazon's clout in offering goods and services, not just the content it produces.
MGM has declined to comment. We've asked Amazon for comment.
A probe wouldn't be completely unexpected. The FTC and the Justice Department agreed to a review of the deal when frequent Big Tech critic Lina Khan was named as FTC chair. Amazon has been expecting a crackdown, and went so far as to ask for Khan's recusal in upcoming cases. She's not expected to bow out of the MGM investigation.
This won't necessarily result in the FTC blocking the deal. It might impose conditions on the purchase, though, and could easily delay a finalized deal by several months. It took more than a year for Google to finish acquiring Fitbit — Amazon may have to wait a similar amount of time to own MGM, and that's provided there are no major obstacles.