New King On The Block

Amazon has finally come out of Netflix’s shadows. Its number of global customers now matches Netflix’s worldwide subscriber total. It carries the crown for the most watched film in the pandemic era, Coming 2 America. And now the e-commerce giant is outspending Peter Jackson to produce the first season of its Lord Of The Rings adaptation for $465 million. As with Apple and Netflix, the economic logic behind Amazon’s video dealmaking sums defies traditional profit-and-loss considerations—and provides more fuel to lawmakers demanding all manner of market restraints. But good luck with that: the lack of transparency surrounding these streaming empires means would-be trustbusters are just stamping their feet in the dark.

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