After months of negotiations and regulatory procedures, the highly anticipated merger between the Walt Disney Company and 21st Century Fox has officially closed. Nearly a year and $72 billion later, Disney now owns 20th Century Fox Film Corporation, Fox Television Group, and Blue Sky Studios amongst other assets. Along with films and television studios, Disney — and its subsidiary Marvel Studios — have now regained the live-action rights to characters under the X-Men and Fantastic Four umbrellas, certainly welcome news to fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The acquisition comes at a time when the House of Mouse is going all-in with their own streaming service in Disney+. Set to compete with the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime, and the dozens of other streaming apps available today, the platform has a reported 18 movies and 16 television shows in development exclusive to the service. Though due out later this year, the Walt Disney Company will reportedly unveil a first look of the service next month.
Disney released a statement of about the acquisition earlier this evening with Disney boss Bob Iger calling it a "historic moment" for the House of Mouse.
"This is an extraordinary and historic moment for us -- one that will create significant long-term value for our company and our shareholders," Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for The Walt Disney Company said in the statement. "Combining Disney's and 21st Century Fox's wealth of creative content and proven talent creates the preeminent global entertainment company, well positioned to lead in an incredibly dynamic and transformative era."
Earlier this month at Disney's annual shareholder's meeting, chief executive Bob Iger detailed how the company's been getting ready for the new shakeup.
"Our new corporate structure is designed to integrate these assets and maximize long-term value," Iger said. "We spent most of (last) year on integration planning so we'll hit the ground running as soon as the deal closes."
Among other assets purchased in the deal includes a 30% stake in Hulu, a streaming platform Disney already owns 30% of. Combine that with reports that Disney is looking to purchase WarnerMedia's 10% stake in the service and the Iger-led company is looking at an overwhelming 70% majority ownership stake. Fox News Channel, Fox Sports, the Big Ten Network, and small channels of the like were not part of the deal and will be spun off into a separate entity called Fox Corporation.
What are your thoughts on the entire Disney and Fox merger? Let us know in the comments below!