Amazon MGM The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is set to review Amazon’s $8.45 billion purchase of venerable Hollywood studio MGM, home of franchises like James Bond and Rocky. The agency’s probe comes as it gets a new head who has been especially critical of Amazon’s business expansions in the past.
In a Yale Law Journal article , Lina Khan, who ascended to the FTC’s top office on June 15, wrote that Amazon “has evaded government scrutiny in part through fervently devoting its business strategy and rhetoric to reducing prices for consumers. It is as if Bezos charted the company’s growth by first drawing a map of antitrust laws, and then devising routes to smoothly bypass them.”
Kahn concluded, “The conflicts of interest created through Amazon’s expansion into distinct lines of business are especially troubling.”
The Columbia Law professor’s on-the record views would seem to bode ill for Amazon’s upcoming review in front of the FTC.
The Wall Street Journal points out that landing before that agency rather than the Justice Department could be a worst-case scenario for Amazon:
Though the FTC and Justice Department have similar antitrust authority, their procedures are different, and companies generally prefer to have their matters before the department because its process is more straightforward.
If the Justice Department wants to block a merger, it must go to court and win a case. The FTC, by contrast, has the option to challenge a transaction in its own administrative-court proceedings, and can go to federal court concurrently to […]