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Amazon wins EU antitrust nod for $8.5 billion MGM deal

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FILE PHOTO: Smartphone with Amazon logo is seen in front of displayed MGM logo in this illustration taken
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By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -Amazon on Tuesday gained unconditional EU antitrust approval for its proposed $8.5 billion acquisition of U.S. movie studio MGM to help it to compete with streaming rivals Netflix and Disney+.

The European Commission said the deal would not pose competition concerns in Europe, confirming a Reuters story on March 9.

The EU competition enforcer said it had looked into overlaps between the world's largest online retailer and MGM in audio-visual content and found that the combined market shares are low and that they have strong rivals.

"The addition of MGM's content into Amazon's Prime Video offer would not have a significant impact on Amazon's position as provider of marketplace services," the Commission said.

Amazon said it was pleased with the EU clearance.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has a mid-March deadline to decide on the deal, a person familiar with the matter said.

Analysts said the deal would boost Amazon's video streaming service and attract people to subscribe to Amazon Prime, which also offers fast shipping and encourages consumers to shop more regularly.

MGM has the rights to James Bond, one of the most lucrative franchises in film history having earned nearly $7 billion at the box office globally.

(Reporting by Foo Yun CheeEditing by David Goodman)

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