ST. LOUIS- Missouri U.S. Senator Josh Hawley, a vocal critic of “Big Tech” in recent years, is taking aim Wednesday at Amazon’s $8.45 billion deal to buy MGM.
The deal is the latest in the media industry that’s aimed at boosting streaming services to compete against Netflix and Disney+.
The deal, which is subject to customary approvals, will make Amazon, already one of the most powerful and valuable companies in the world, even bigger. Regulators around the world are scrutinizing Amazon’s business practices, specifically the way it looks at information from businesses that sell goods on its site and uses it to create its own Amazon-branded products.
Hawley says the Amazon-MGM pairing should not move forward and that Amazon should not be allowed to buy anything else.
Hawley has sponsored the Trust-Busting for the 21st Century Act, which among other things, his office says, would ban Amazon from acquiring “additional companies in its supply chain.”
A report by the House Judiciary Committee in October called for a possible breakup of Amazon and others, making it harder for them to buy other businesses and imposing new rules to safeguard competition.
U.S. Representative Cori Bush (D-St. Louis) now sits on the House Judiciary panel. An inquiry seeking comment was not immediately returned. Bush has been outspoken about efforts by Amazon employees to seek union status.
Amazon, founded in 1995 as an online bookstore, has become a $1.6 trillion behemoth that does a little bit of everything. It has a delivery business network that gets orders to people in two days or sooner; sells inhalers and insulin; has a cloud-computing business that powers the apps of Netflix and McDonald’s; and has plans to send more than 3,200 satellites into space to beam internet service to Earth.