Image source: Variety
The Walt Disney Company had shaken the entertainment industry in December 2017 after announcing its agreement to acquire the 21st century Fox. Since then, the acquisitions were kept on hold for the shareholders to decide and vote for. Finally, after half a year of decision making, on July 27, 2018, the shareholders of the Walt Disney Company and 21st Century Fox agreed to a $US71.3 billion worth purchase that gives Disney a major share of Murdoch’s media empire. Even though the main obstacle has been cleared, there is still confusion that how this merger will affect the entertainment industry in the coming years.
In this battle, Comcast (parent company of NBCUniversal) also gave a good fight by offering a $US65 billion all cash proposal to acquire the Fox assets. Along with Comcast, other companies that also took a shot in the bidding clash were Verizon Communications, and Sony.
What all has Disney fetched?
Assets that are to be acquired by Disney include the majority of 21st Century Fox’s entertainment and international assets. Namely: 20th Century Fox film and TV studios, Fox Networks Group, National Geographic partners, Star TV, Sky plc, stakes in Hulu and other major assets.
Although the deal is sealed, Disney and Fox are yet to unveil their plans post-merger. However, Disney will certainly take over Fox’s biggest film franchises, the ‘X-men’ movies, ‘Avatar’ and ‘Titanic’. TV shows such as ‘The Simpsons’ and ‘This is Us’ will also be now owned by Disney. This whopping deal is also said to give Disney a complete ownership of the original ‘Star Wars’ films.
Image source: independent.co.uk
Reactions from the Entertainment Industry
The audience and the film fans are curious and excited to know about what the deal brings in; however, the entertainment industry has given mixed reactions on the Disney-Fox merger.
Image source: ecranlarge.com
A merge of this magnitude can set an example of a powerful and productive mix of the film and TV intellectual properties and can create a top end distribution service that can deliver exciting and accessible new content on a seamlessly-integrated platform system. Or in the long run it could just simply turn out as a horizontal monopolistic power.