US FTC skips separate voting procedure… “The impact of vacant seats in the Democratic Party” As Amazons acquisition of MGM, a film company, is nearing completion, attention is focused on the actions of the US Federal Trade Commission.
In particular, it is questionable whether FTC Chairman Lina Khan, who knows Amazon better than anyone, will just watch this expansion.
According to foreign media including CNBC, Amazon officially announced on the 17th that it had completed the acquisition of MGM.
FTC Chairman Lina Khan
Amazon, which signed a $8.5 billion contract in May last year, succeeded in acquiring MGM in 10 months. In particular, the merger is expected to gain momentum as it also received approval from the European Commission two days ago.
However, this does not mean that the merger between Amazon and MGM is completely confirmed. This is because approval from the most important regulatory body, the US Federal Trade Commission, remains.
The FTC has not yet made an official statement on whether or not to approve the merger of the two companies.
■ Tough FTC, ‘antitrust regulations’ one step back?
In the midst of this, Politico, a political media outlet, reported on the 17th that “the FTC is not expected to file a lawsuit against the merger between Amazon and MGM.”
“The decision not to file a lawsuit is a significant step backwards on the FTCs antitrust agenda,” Politico said.
The FTC is chaired by Lina Khan, who is famous for being an “Amazon sniper.” As Lina Khan, who knows better than anyone else about Amazons monopoly policy, is leading, attention is focused on how the FTC will handle this case.
The fact that the FTC is not strongly blocking the acquisition of Amazon and MGM is also related to internal circumstances, Politico said.
US FTC headquarters.
Currently, the FTC has one vacant seat allocated to the Democrats. This is because no successor to Robitt Chopra, who left the FTC when he was appointed as Director of Consumer Financial Protection, has not been appointed.
President Joe Biden plans to appoint Alvaro Bedoya, a Georgetown University law school professor, to the FTC Democrats, but he is facing difficulties due to strong opposition from Republican senators.
He has been voted twice in the Senate, but has yet to come to a conclusion in a tight 14-14 match.
From the perspective of Chairman Rina Khan, it is not easy to push strong measures as the FTC has not secured a numerical advantage.
■ There is a possibility of filing a lawsuit after the Democratic seats are filled.
According to Politico, Lina Khan has not even called for an official vote to handle Amazons takeover of MGM. Because if it were put to a vote, two Republican members would almost certainly vote against it.
Therefore, there is a possibility that the FTC, which is difficult to express a clear position on due to the current seat structure, may pass the legal deadline for reviewing Amazons MGM acquisition, Politico reported.
In this case, Amazon could finalize the MGM acquisition.
That doesnt mean the FTC is no longer taking issue with Amazons acquisition of MGM. If the Senate approves Alvaro Vedoya, there is a possibility of filing an antitrust lawsuit.
How will Amazon sniper Lina Khan decide on the acquisition of Amazon and MGM? Would you choose to file an antitrust lawsuit after gaining a “number advantage”? Or would you rather watch the merger and then warn you about whats going to happen?
The tense struggle over the big deal of the century is not over yet.