MGM-Amazon deal puts acquisition target on independent studios

18 Inc.’s acquisition of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer has turned fresh attention from investors to the fates of independent Hollywood studios that would be a catch for larger streaming players.

In particular, it has put a spotlight on Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. and Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., which claim a trove of acclaimed movies and beloved characters, much like MGM. And crucially, they might find it similarly tough to go it alone as tech giants move aggressively to conquer the entertainment industry.

While there’s no indication deals are imminent, the logic of mergers may ultimately prevail, with customers increasingly drawn to the type of expensive and exclusive programming that only a few mega-corporations can afford. Such an acquisition would continue a wave of media tie-ups, including that of WarnerMedia and Discovery Inc., that will reshape the entertainment business for the coming decades.

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