The deal, announced Thursday, will see Disney acquire 21st Century Fox's film and television studios, as well as multiple regional sports networks, a share of Europe's Sky family of networks, and Fox's 30% stake in Hulu — giving Disney a controlling interest in the streaming service.
Disney will gain the rights to utilize the Fantastic Four, Deadpool and X-Men franchises in the shared Marvel Cinematic Universe, a result confirmed by Disney CEO Bob Iger. Disney will also acquire popular entertainment properties such as James Cameron's Avatar saga, the long running The Simpsons, FX Networks and National Geographic.
Fox will retain its Fox News Channel, FOX network operator Fox Broadcasting, and the FS1 and FS2 sports channels.
The acquisition "complements and enhances The Walt Disney Company’s ability to provide consumers around the world with more appealing content and entertainment options," per The Walt Disney Company's official press release announcing the deal.
The proposed acquisition has democrats on the Senate and House antitrust committee calling for hearings.
“I’m concerned about the impact of this transaction on American consumers,” said Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar, who called the Disney-Fox deal "another industry-changing merger, which would have major implications in television, film, and media."
Klobuchar has requested senator Mike Lee of Utah and senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa — who chair the subcommittee and the Judiciary Committee, respectively — to schedule a hearing.
“Disney’s proposed purchase of 21st Century Fox threatens to put control of TV, movie, and news content into the hands of a single media giant," said Rhode Island representative David Cicilline, ranking member of the House Judiciary’s antitrust subcommittee, who believes the country is at a "monopoly moment."
“If it’s approved, this merger could allow Disney to limit what consumers can watch and increase their cable bills. Disney will gain more than 300 channels, 22 regional sports networks, control over Hulu, and a significant portion of Roku.”
Congressional approval is not required for the transaction, which is likely to be reviewed by the Justice Department.
Fans of Marvel properties X-Men, Deadpool and Fantastic Four are already theorizing ways the popular brands can be integrated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, home to the hit Iron Man, Captain America, Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy franchises.