After more than a year of work to obtain final approval, the long process of acquisition of Disney's 21st Century Fox finally takes place.
The merger was made at 12:02 am Eastern Time, giving Disney full control over several 21st Century Fox entities, including the company's entire film studio division, its 30 percent stake in the company. Hulu streaming service and the Fox Television Group. The acquisition received final approval from antitrust regulators around the world in recent months. Despite the acquisition, Fox Corp. will maintain its independence and entities such as Fox News and Fox Sports in the United States.
"This is an extraordinary and historic moment for us, one that will create significant long-term value for our company and our shareholders," CEO Bob Iger said in a press release. "The combination of the wealth of creative content and proven talent of Disney and 21st Century Fox creates the pre-eminent global entertainment company, well positioned to lead in an incredibly dynamic and transformative era."
Still, Disney's main focus is on the cinematographic assets of 20th Century Fox, its catalog of film and television shows, and its participation in Hulu. Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, has previously spoken about the company's plans to incorporate Fox content into its own business plans, including the possible integration of franchises such as Deadpool and X-Men in their own Marvel universe and bring Hulu closer. to an international audience. The agreement now gives Disney control of almost 40 percent of the current market share, according to Vanity Fair . Perhaps the biggest addition to Disney's portfolio, and the most important, as it prepares for a direct consumer business model, is becoming a major player in Hulu.
Disney now has a controlling stake of 60 percent in Hulu, and analysts predict that Iger will try to get even more ownership over the broadcast service. He has told investors on numerous occasions that he has no plans to abandon the ship, even in light of the fact that Disney is preparing to launch its own broadcast service, Disney +. Iger wants to increase spending on the Hulu programming side and make it international. Hulu, which already has 25 million subscribers in the United States, would become a Netflix competitor. And if Disney extends Hulu to the European market, it means more original content and licenses of European series, since the new impositions have made it mandatory for transmission services.
As far as the film franchise is concerned, it could be a while before the Fantastic Four. or the X-Men appear in the Marvel cinematographic universe. Iger has said there is a place for movies like Fox's superhero movies (which are currently under the umbrella of Marvel Entertainment, but are not produced by Disney's Marvel Studios), but may not be within the PG-13 universe that Disney has cultivated. R-rated movies such as Deadpool "will continue," Iger told investors in February, but said they should remain separate. It is the same mentality that Iger has suggested that will apply to the series and films in Disney + or Hulu; those of the first must comply with the Disney family status quo, while Hulu may have more titles for adults.
Kevin Feige, co-president of Marvel Studios, does not have much more to offer to fans who expect to see something. The Avengers join the X-Men. Feige spoke about the agreement in the podcast of Variety in December, and noted that while "the notion that the characters return is great", they have not yet begun to plan anything. .
It is not only the content and the transmission that will be affected by the acquisition. From the corporate point of view, it is expected that both Disney and Fox employees will be affected by the acquisition, which will result in the dismissal of some 4,000 employees. It is expected that most of these works are roles that are now duplicated. Analyst Rich Greenfield told The Hollywood Reporter that it could be closer to 8,000 employees, calling the merger "bloodshed"
"This is a virgin territory for Disney, which has never made a massive integration. " He said.