Last month, AMC raised $500 million in private debt to boost liquidity during the pandemic. It then publicly fought with Hollywood studio Universal Pictures over the future of film distribution.

AMC said it would refuse to show Universal films in its theaters (whenever they reopen) after Jeff Shell, the CEO of Universal parent company NBCUniversal, hinted in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that the studio would release films both digitally and in theaters once the pandemic ends.

For Amazon, acquiring AMC would instantly give it a direct, global theatrical distribution pipeline for its own original films. It previously explored purchasing the smaller cinema chain, Landmark Theatres, before it was outbid by Cohen Media Group.

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