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Disney Domination Grows As It Acquires 21st Century Fox

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Disney has changed the game yet again.

In a stunning move of power and intelligence, Disney will acquire 21st Century Fox for a staggering $52.4 billion, merging two of Hollywood’s biggest powerhouses.

Not only does Disney receive 21st Century Fox’s movie division and regional sports networks, they also are gaining popular channels FX and National Geographic and all of Fox’s stake in the media-streaming giant Hulu.

In August of 2017, Disney announced that the company would be terminating its connection to Netflix and pulling its content in preparation of starting its own streaming service in 2019. In other words, Netflix subscribers would no longer have access to at a bare minimum, Lucasfilm, Pixar, Disney Animation, and Marvel.

Just imagine how much money a subscription service including Luke Skywalker, Captain America, Buzz Lightyear, the X-Men, and the Na’vi of Pandora would make. The deal leaves Disney a gigantic library of intellectual properties (IPs) and 60 percent ownership of Hulu, the primary streaming service for airing TV shows from numerous networks.

Along with the Netflix-esque streaming service Disney has up their sleeve, they also have the intention of establishing ESPN Plus starting in spring of next year, offering additional sports programming to what is available on ESPN’s current TV channels. Each of the two services, according to CEO Bob Iger, would cost “significantly less than what Netflix currently charges.”

The massive flow of content allows Disney to further its streaming platform as well as its traditional basic television channels. Star Wars and Toy Story are extremely desirable as they are, but Disney’s own streaming service would be much more appealing and attractive with other TV shows and films from Fox’s considerable plethora of properties.

With the merger brings much more strength to the already massive superhero genre. When it comes to Marvel films, Disney never strikes out fully. In Fox’s reign, they had control of the Fantastic Four and the X-Men, two of the most hated comic-book adaptations in the history of comic-book adaptations. Putting these IP’s in the hands of Disney along with the full-fledged Marvel Studios, gives these properties the chance to find true success for the characters and the production companies. Now, the X-Men can join the Avengers with no legal battle in the air. Fan favorite villain Doctor Doom can square off toe-to-toe with Captain America and Iron Man.

It is easy to get lost in the glitz and glamour of the deal with Disney’s plans being so attractive and well thought-out, but there is a sadness looming over the merger. Not a sadness that will be known by everyone worldwide or even everyone stateside, but with the combined workforce, a toll will be taken on the current workforces with up to 10,000 jobs at stake.

“Disney expects over $2 billion in synergies from the Fox acquisition, with the overwhelming majority of that from cost-savings – meaning job cuts,” explains BTIG market analyst Rich Greenfield. “In order to reduce costs by upwards of $2 billion, we believe Disney will need to cut 5,000 jobs and the number could easily swell toward 10,000 given the high degree of overlap between the two companies around the world.”

Iger highlighted efficiencies from the deal, but implored that they would be achieved over a longer timeframe. Regulatory approval is not expected until 2019 and the full integration is scheduled to take effect in 2021.

Disney did it. As soon as it seemed the massive billion-dollar giant couldn’t grow any larger, they grew larger than imaginable. Fox is no longer in the film industry. Disney absorbs and continues.

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Disney Domination Grows As It Acquires 21st Century Fox