With the media deal of the century that was the Disney-Fox deal, the Big Six of Hollywood were reduced to the Big Five, with Fox selling its assets in its entirety to Disney Studios. With the merger, Disney aims to become the largest production house in human history and an information superpower. That much power under one private entity is frightening and terrifying. While Disney only bought Fox for its valuable Property assets and distribution rights which includes one of the most lucrative and profitable franchises of Hollywood, one cant fail to notice the Mouse House’s increasing power within the movie making industry and beyond.
The X-Men and the Fantastic Four were sold to 20th Century Fox in the early 2000’s when Marvel was almost bankrupt and was doing everything it could to keep its ships afloat. Selling their flagship superheroes’ distributing rights for pennies may sound stupid now, but it was necessary then. Their desperate attempt to survive is the very reason fans have been able to enjoy the Marvel Cinematic Universe unravel its many mystical wonders since a decade. Had Marvel withheld those rights from being sold, there would have been no RDJ playing Iron man or no Guardians of the Galaxy.
But the MCU was doing fine without heroes like Spiderman, the Fantastic Four and the X-Men. But after 10 years of the same superheroes again and again, the fans wanted more. They wanted something different. And that is where the Disney-Fox merger comes in. With Fox selling its assets to Disney, Marvel’s parent company, the MCU could reintegrate their flagship superheroes to the Marvel movie and add something fresh to their shared universe. The news of the Disney-Fox deal being finalized came in December and it shook the world to its very core. Everyone was happy. The X-Men are finally returning home.
But looks like all may be not well in the Mouse House. Disney is still awaiting approval of its merger contracts. So until that happens, the deal says any other production house is welcome to interfere in the regulatory process and restart the auction from scratch. And now it looks like it most certainly will.
Comcast, another major media house, aims to topple the Disney-Fox merger. They aim to buy Fox’s assets themselves states a news report from CNBC.It all boils down to the AT&T and Time Warner merger last year. The media company was about to buy the production house and effective merge with it when the new administration under President Donald Trump stopped the 85 Billion USD deal from happening. The communications company now faces increased scrutiny in their recent attempts at gaining a suitable media provider.
If the AT&T deal does go through, it sets a precedent for other media houses to follow suit, chief among them being Verizon and Comcast. Comcast had already placed a bid to buy Fox’s assets. But Rupert Murdoch favored Disney over Comcast since he was of the opinion that the eventual regulatory process will be a lot smoother with the Mouse House. But Comcast is preparing a counteroffer and Disney is looking more and more helpless to tackle the telecom giant.
Comcast has already bought NBC Universal, so buying Fox will help strengthen their production stance in the business world. Disney might be the one Fox may have joined hands with. But that may only be found to be temporary. In the corporate world, the shareholders decide the course for the company. If they think Comcast is better suited than Disney, hey will change colors instantly. It’s all about the profit. They don’t give a damn about your feelings.
Disney’s hope of expanding its media empire may be in trouble now. If the AT&T merger with Time Warner goes along, several other tech companies might join the fray. Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft – all want a piece of the cake. 20th Century Fox is that cake. As powerful as Disney is, it cannot hope to match these aforementioned giants.
So if you were tightening your shoelaces to race to the theaters when the Avengers vs. X-Men movie finally arrive; slow down for now. Disney might be the front-runner when it comes to the Fox deal. But with new players soon about to join the game, the equations could soon change with the odds stacked against the Mouse House.