Shares of film studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (NYSE:MGM) rose more than 6% on heavy volume yesterday on the back of reports from Reuters -- and followed up by various other news services -- that Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) might be poised to beat out Sony (NYSE:SNE) and buy the company for as much as $5 billion.

A Wall Street Journal report, meanwhile, had Time Warner "winning" with a bid in the $4.5 billion range. The reports gained credence with investors on news that Reuters has instructed executives to cease trading in their company's shares in order to avoid the eye of securities regulators on the lookout for trading violations.

MGM has said naught beyond a carefully worded press release that told investors the $5 billion price tag is "inaccurate." (As of last night's close, the company's market value was about $2.88 billion.) It did not, however, do much to dissuade investors from thinking a deal might be as it has been for months.

Whoever does finally land MGM will pick up some very valuable properties and a content library that represents a very solid cash-generating machine. Given that, it's unsurprising that companies such as Disney (NYSE:DIS), Viacom (NYSE:VIA), Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) have all been linked with MGM in recent months. (Steven Mallas took another look at this picture in July.)

So what does this all mean for individual investors? Well, there aren't many invested in MGM; Kirk Kerkorian, who has made piles of money getting companies to do what he wants them to, owns most of it. In the entertainment business, however, this would represent a major shake-up. The economic value of content remains one of the most powerful ways to make money -- and so a very large and valuable pile of assets now stands to change hands, possibly quite soon.

All that said, I still can't believe they made two TV shows out of "Stargate."

Fool contributor Dave Marino-Nachison doesn't own any of the companies in this story.