Mickey Mouse gains more friends as Disney takes Fox

Disney completes acquisition of 20th Century Fox


20th Century Fox logo – Courtesy of Flickr

Kyle Hawley, Reporter

The Walt Disney Company is having a great 2019 so far and it’s only March. Marvel Studio’s Captain Marvel, the first female solo movie in the 21-movie series, had a great opening box office weekend, earning around $500 million. Captain Marvel kicked off the 2019 blockbuster movies of the year but it won’t end there. With the release of Marvel Studio’s Avengers: Endgame, Disney Studio’s Aladdin, Dumbo, Frozen 2, Toy Story 4, and The Lion King, along with the next film in the Star Wars franchise, the massive company is in for a stellar year at the box office. However, it’s not just superhero movies and live-action remakes that have Disney fans on the edge of their seat— it’s also the completion of the Disney buyout of the 20th Century Fox Film Corporation.  

Back in November 2017, it was reported Disney CEO Bob Iger and Rupert Murdoch, the owner of 20th Century Fox, were discussing a possible merger between the two companies. The bombshell report stated Iger was offering a grand total of $52.4 billion for acquisition of the company. On Dec. 14, 2017, it was confirmed that the talks were true. What would later become a major win for Disney, the Mickey Mouse enterprise did have trouble in trying to accomplish their goal since Comcast would join the fight for ownership of Fox.

“Each year, Disney becomes more powerful,” sophomore Kyra Bolden, a marketing student, said. “While I”m scared of how much of the movie industry they hold, I do like their company and what they make.”

Disney was set to purchase the corporation until Comcast, the parent company of NBCUniversal, made a bid of $65 billion for the company on June 13, 2018.

Disney was quick to counter that offer with a $73.3 billion proposal a week later. Comcast retreated and formally ended their bid-war with Disney on July 9.

With no more threats from competing enterprises, Fox accepted the $73.3 billion on July 27, 2018, and now began the legal process for completion of the acquisition.

U.S. President Donald Trump was eager to have the Department of Justice (DOJ)  support this plan. Trump and Murdoch have been longtime friends, especially since Murdoch is one of two founders of Fox News. A lawsuit was issued by the Protect Democracy Project Inc. against the DOJ seeking to find out “if the president or his administration was interfering” with their decision to allow the merger of the unification of these two companies since Murdoch “was a political ally” of Trump. The lawsuit failed and President Trump congratulated his friend on the day the DOJ agreed to the acquisition. The U.S. was the first country to give their anti-trust approval, Disney now had to get international agreements.

After the Disney and Fox stockholders voted in the affirmative to pass the merger, Bloomberg released a report saying 15 nations have yet to approve of the Disney takeover, one being China, the greatest threat to the deal since the United States-China trade war prevented the merger between Qualcomm and NXP.  Eventually, all 15 nations would give their anti-trust consent if Disney gave into their demands, which they did.

One of the high demands were to release a few Fox assets from Disney’s control. Mainstream media network Fox News, Fox Sports, Fox Broadcasting network and televisions stations were to belong to a new network known as Fox Corporation or New Fox, which will still be owned by Murdoch. Disney agreed and as of this week the listed programs no longer belong to 20th Century Fox or Disney. Former U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan was a big name that joined the Fox Corp. board.

After 15 months of negotiations, deals, and approvals, on Wednesday, March 20, Disney’s $73.3 billion buyout of the 20th Century Fox finalized and the transactions completed.

Disney holds a majority of the assets held by Fox and the Mickey Mouse enterprise also own a skyrocketing 26% of the international box office. No other major or minor movie studio owns that much.

All previous Fox-held TV and film entities now belong to Walt Disney’s Studios. The top two highest grossing movies of all time, Titanic and Avatar, are Disney owned, respectively. Iconic movies like The Sound of Music, Predator, Planet of the Apes, Ice Age, Alien, and Home Alone are Disney properties as of Wednesday. Popular television shows like American Horror Story and the X-Files is also Disney’s jurisdiction. The two longest running animated television shows in history, The Simpsons and Family Guy, are under Mickey Mouse control.

While some people are praising these franchises belonging to Disney and others are worried Iger will defile some of their graves for money— there is one positive outcome that have movie goers and comic readers excited.

“I’m super excited for the introduction of Wolverine into the Marvel family,” Bolden said.

Superhero fans are praising this merger since Fox owned X-Men and Fantastic Four at last came home to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). While the Avengers are off defeating Thanos the Mad Titan after the outcome of 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War, the employees at Marvel’s Studios are hard at work incorporating the X-Men into the MCU. Marvel’s Studios head-huncho Kevin Fiege expressed his excitement about having the X-Men roster at his disposal.

In a statement to the press, Fiege said, “The truth is I’m excited for all of them. And it’s not just the marquee names, you know. There are hundreds of names on those agreements and the fact that Marvel is as close as we may ever get now to having access to all of the characters is something I’ve been dreaming about for my almost 20 years at Marvel. It’s very exciting.”

The Disney-Fox merger is truly the deal of a lifetime. The enterprise is also releasing their streaming service, Disney+, comes out in late 2019. As Disney grows stronger in box office numbers and productions, their competitors fear the reign of Mickey Mouse.