Financial Daily Dose 5.25.2021 | Top Story: Amazon Nears $9 Billion Deal to Buy MGM Holdings – JD Supra

Amazon is nearing the final stages of a reported $9 billion deal to purchase MGM Holdings and its stable of big-name franchises (from James Bond to Rocky and The Pink Panther) in what would be Bezos & Co.’s second largest acquisition behind Whole Foods, which it bought for $13.7 billion in 2017 – WSJ and Bloomberg

Fine. Since we’re talking movies, I’ll say it. In a new low (and despite an awfully rough history—“Super Mario Bros.”? “Prince of Persia”?), Hollywood’s now looking to video games for movie and streaming inspiration as the demand for content is beating out the quest for quality – NYTimes

Meanwhile, the studios are hoping that Universal’s new “F9” release (that would be the latest in the Fast & Furious line) will help “kick-start” a return to cinemas after the most challenging year on record – NYTimes

Apple and Epic Games have wrapped their blockbuster antitrust trial after three weeks that saw testimony from the CEOs of each company and plenty of discussion of the App Store. The case—and the $100 billion market for iPhone apps—now rests with Oakland federal judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, who “hopes to issue a verdict by mid-August” – NYTimes and WSJ and MarketWatch and Law360

The “brazen decision” by Belarus’s leaders over the weekend to force down a Ryanair flight “to arrest a dissident journalist” is prompting airlines throughout Europe to restrict flights over Belarusian—a prospect made more difficult by existing efforts to avoid southern neighbor Ukraine due to its ongoing conflict with Russia – NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg

Japanese business leaders, including Softbank’s Masa Son, are joining a growing chorus criticizing the country’s plan to “hold the Tokyo Olympics this summer as scheduled amid the coronavirus pandemic” – Bloomberg

Bloomberg brings us up to speed on the frantic race among Chinese regulators to right the ship at Huarong Asset Management—China’s state-owned “biggest ‘bad bank’”—which sits “at the center of China’s financial power structure” and sits atop “some $41 billion borrowed on the bond market,” much of it incurred under former Huarong chairman, Lai Xiaomin, who was “put to death in January” – Bloomberg

The Fed’s tentative steps toward a digital dollar discussion – CNBC

The Journal gives us this exclusive check-in with former Nissan frontman Carlos Ghosn, the “fugitive ex-auto executive” who is holed up in Beirut and mixing hikes with preparation for “the voluntary meeting with the French investigators” coming his way next week over “payments he made as the head of Renault SA” – WSJ

I’ve played enough ball to know when the other team brings in a ringer (a backpack stuffed with more bats than my entire team has is usually a giveaway). But a former Yankee and 6-time All-Star dropping in on Central Park softball? C’mon, CC—that doesn’t feel quite right now, does it? – Curbed

Stay safe and get vaxxed,

MDR