The Reel Cinemaniac / Josh Simpkins
Over the past few months one of the succulent stories I have been following is the big Disney/Fox merger. Well, friends and neighbors, July 27, 2018, is a day that is most certainly going to go down in the History of Entertainment. Both the Disney and Fox shareholders met to discuss the proposed merger, and the deal has now been approved by both sides. While it will still be some time before the two companies will truly become merged together, that amalgamation process can now begin.
The way the process went down was almost historically expedient. Both meetings took place concurrently at the New York Hilton, therefore stockholders of both companies were voting at more or less the same moment to decide the fates of both companies. Both meetings were extraordinarily short considering what was at stake, each lasting only a few minutes. These people were voting on one of the largest entertainment mergers in history, and they sure didn’t muck around or dilly-dally.
The stockholder approval was one of the last major hurdles the deal needed to overcome since government regulators had already given approval to the merger. There’s always the possibility that lawsuits could still be filed that could slow things down, but one way or another, this merger is moving forward. With Disney shelling out $71.3 billion on the deal, a price they increased to fend off a competing bid by Comcast, the merger is practically a done deal.
What exactly is Disney acquiring? The deal gives Disney control over the Fox TV and film studios, as well as cable channels Nat Geo and FX, Fox’s 30 percent holding in Hulu—which gives Disney a 60 percent majority share—as well as a 39 percent share of European satellite company Sky. The deal was also going to include Fox’s collection of regional sports channels. However, government regulators required Disney, who owns ESPN, to divest themselves of those, so the company would not have such a dominant position in the cable sports world. Now, now Disney no Monopolies allowed.
Clearly nothing is changing overnight. However, a lot will be changing in the months and years to come; across the board and at every level of the industry. The biggest part of the deal for fanboys and girls has got to be the fact that this deal returns the film rights to many Marvel characters back to the company. This is amazing because it paves the way for the integration of the X-Men and Fantastic 4 into the existing Marvel Cinematic Universe. It also could mean we may see many more Fox properties integrated into Disney’s theme parks. Yet, it also means there is less competition in the industry, with Disney now an even larger force in the entertainment industry than they have ever previously been before. One can only hope Disney flexes their new muscle for the common good.
Joshua Simpkins, affectionately known as “Big” Josh to his friends and family, has resided in the scenic KRV for most of his life. He is an alumnus of Kern Valley High School Class of 1997 and graduated with honors from Cerro Coso Community College Lake Isabella Campus in 2009. Josh is a devoted husband, loving father, and extremely proud grandpa. Not to mention his great love of the cinema is apparent in his film critiques.