Walt Disney Co. has forked out $52.4 billion to acquire the 21st Century Fox production company and other assets in a historic entertainment deal.
The deal is a huge and historic union which places Disney even further above the rest of the competition in the entertainment game.
According to Variety, this means shareholders in Fox will instead be given a corresponding value in stock of Disney, which most are probably very happy about.
Bob Iger, Disney’s Chairman CEO, said:
The acquisition of this stellar collection of businesses from 21st Century Fox reflects the increasing consumer demand for a rich diversity of entertainment experiences that are more compelling, accessible and convenient than ever before.
We’re honoured and grateful that Rupert Murdoch has entrusted us with the future of businesses he spent a lifetime building, and 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.
The deal will also substantially expand our international reach, allowing us to offer world-class storytelling and innovative distribution platforms to more consumers in key markets around the world.
Fox Chairman Rupert Murdoch said:
We are extremely proud of all that we have built at 21st Century Fox, and I firmly believe that this combination with Disney will unlock even more value for shareholders as the new Disney continues to set the pace in what is an exciting and dynamic industry.
Furthermore, I’m convinced that this combination, under Bob Iger’s leadership, will be one of the greatest companies in the world.
I’m grateful and encouraged that Bob has agreed to stay on, and is committed to succeeding with a combined team that is second to none.
It’s currently uncertain just how this will affect the larger TV and film properties right now, nor the future of many Fox employees.
Importantly for consumers, however, is the fact that this brings many intellectual property names which were owned by Fox under the banner of Disney.
Most notable of these is X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool, which could now all join the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
There will also be more Disney reach overseas thanks to Fox’s 39% stake in broadcaster Sky, which could end up being entirely owned by the company in the future.
This deal effectively moves the Micky Mouse corporation one step closer to a monopoly, and eventually world domination, of the entertainment industry.
But who cares as long as Deadpool and Tony Stark face off, right?