Disney to buy Fox film, TV businesses for $52 billion

A screen shows the trading info for The Walt Disney Company company on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York US Dec 13 2017. Reuters

The Disney Twenty-First Century Fox merger just got confirmed

That Disney-Fox prediction became a reality on December 14, 2017, when Disney said it was buying a huge chunk of 21st Century Fox, which owns 20th Century Fox, for $52.4 billion.

Fox has long had access to the Fantastic Four and the X-Men, beloved figures from the Marvel canon, through long-standing licensing deals that predate Disney's 2009 acquisition of the comic book company.

The sports networks include the YES Network in New York, Prime Ticket and Fox Sports West in Los Angeles, and networks that carry 44 professional teams in Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association and the NHL.

Walt Disney Co. now controls 21st Century's film studio and television channels including FX, FXX, National Geographic along with worldwide stations such as Star and Sky. According to those privy to the talks, the entire business of Star India, including entertainment and sports channels and the digital over-the-top channel Hotstar, will be transferred to Disney as part of the deal.

The news comes as another major media deal, between AT&T and Time Warner, has been challenged in an antitrust filing by the US Justice Department.

Disney Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger will remain with his company through 2021 to "provide the vision and proven leadership required to successfully complete and integrate such a massive, complex undertaking".

As the news of Disney negotiating to buy a large portion of 21 Century Fox came to light, many in the industry had questions. And he hinted at a future role in the combined entity for 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch.

More news: Twitter Adds Support for Threads with 'Add Another Tweet' Button

The deal also gives it a controlling interest in Hulu, another popular streaming service.

"They'd have enormous power in the entertainment and production sphere", Gene Kimmelman, the head of Washington policy group Public Knowledge, said of Disney.

"We're excited about this extraordinary opportunity to significantly increase our portfolio of well-loved franchises and branded content to greatly enhance our growing direct-to-consumer offerings".

"And, we'll see", Iger added.

"I don't think you should really look at it as necessarily individual businesses, except that we're looking to expand consumer choice and consumer options", he continued, when asked by a media analyst why Walt Disney isn't just adopting Hulu as its own SVOD platform.

In a statement of his own, Murdoch said, "I'm convinced that this combination, under Bob Iger's leadership, will be one of the greatest companies in the world".

Latest News