In addition to 4,000 motion pictures, MGM holds titles to 17,000 television shows, which will now be property of Amazon. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo
May 26 (UPI) -- Amazon announced Wednesday that it will buy iconic Hollywood film studio MGM for close to $9 billion.
Amazon said it plans to preserve MGM's film catalog, which include titles like 12 Angry Men, the Rocky franchise and Thelma & Louise, and support current movie-making efforts.
The companies said Amazon bought MGM for $8.45 billion.
"It has been an honor to have been a part of the incredible transformation of Metro Goldwyn Mayer," MGM Chairman Kevin Ulrich said in a statement. "To get here took immensely talented people with a true belief in one vision."
The MGM deal, which gives Amazon access to the studio's entire film library, is its second-largest to date. The online retailer spent $13.7 billion four years ago to purchase Whole Foods Market.
In addition to its 4,000 motion pictures, MGM holds titles to 17,000 television shows, including Fargo and The Handmaid's Tale.
"The real financial value behind this deal is the treasure trove of [intellectual property] in the deep catalog that we plan to reimagine and develop together," Mike Hopkins, senior vice president of Prime Video and Amazon Studios, said.
"It's very exciting and provides so many opportunities for high-quality storytelling."
The deal came a day after Washington, D.C., Attorney General Karl Racine announced an antitrust suit against Amazon that says the retailer's practices eliminate competition and unfairly raise the cost of products.
Racine says Amazon's prices, which are set through various agreements, create "artificially high" costs and resemble "monopoly power."