Back in the day when Marvel comics almost went bankrupt, it did something really stupid. It held a fire sale of its flagship characters and sold off their rights to different movie production houses. Sony bought Spiderman, 20th Century Fox got the X-Men, The Fantastic Four, and the Silver Surfer. It was a stupid move but a necessary one. Had it not been for Marvel’s utter act of desperation, we may not have had MCU in our midst. Iron Man, Captain America, and the Hulk would never have seen the light of day had it not been for that fire sale.
Now, we all know that it is only a matter of time before Disney fully acquires 20th Century Fox. News broke out in late December 2017 that Disney will be the one who will acquire the assets of 20th Century Fox which would mean that X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Deadpool will be in the same house where the MCU is.
When Fox announced that it was open to being sold to one of the Studios in the market, a lot of competitors approached to acquire the big house of X-Men and Avatar. However, none of them except Comcast and Disney were serious enough for having this merger. Disney’s bid as we know did turn out to be the one chosen by Fox as it was for a huge $52.4 Billion. Comcast had to drop out of the race and Disney became the ultimate winner.
Even though the merger has been announced, Disney and Fox still have to go through the regulatory approval processes due to the humongous size of this deal. This process is expected to end till summer 2019, and then Disney will officially be the owner of Fox and all the big guns it will bring in like Avatar, Predator, Alien, X-Men, Deadpool 2, Kung Fu Panda and Rio. Marvel will finally have all its characters and could do whatever they want with them.
But actually, Disney did not win by placing the highest bid for the deal. It was Comcast who actually placed a much bigger bid than Disney. It has been reported by the New York Times that Comcast’s bid was 16% higher than Disney’s as to oppose Disney’s $52.4 Billion, Comcast actually offered a bit which was over $60 Billion. Comcast’s all-stock offer came in at $34.41 per share while Disney’s bid came in at $29.54 per share.
So clearly, in some big deals like this, there are other factors involved along with the monetary aspect. There are two reasons why Fox chose the lesser bidding amount of Disney over that of Comcast. The first reason is that Comcast was not agreeing to offer any break-up fee if the merger was to ever fall through. Fox needed to have some back up if the deal went south, but Comcast was not agreeing to that.
Disney offered $2.5 Billion as Break-up fee which seemed a better option to Fox, and also the Comcast deal “proposed unacceptable plans for divesting any assets singled out by antitrust regulators as problematic,” which was viewed as another red flag from Fox’s camp.
The second reason was that theoretically, and according to everyone in the world except Comcast, Disney seemed a much better fit for Fox rather than Comcast. People have wanted to see Marvel be united under one roof for 10 years now, and now finally when there is a chance for that to happen, Fox would not have been that crazy to actually stop it from ever happening.
With this mammoth deal, both Disney and Fox are expected to grow together, as Fox obviously getting an ocean of money from Disney will have the help and the push they need and will obviously have the brand name of Disney, and Disney will grow even bigger as they will now have 3 major Billion Dollar franchises in their house apart from all the Pixar and Fairy Tale movies they are recently investing in.
The Superhero genre will be huge, Star Wars is already huge and now the Avatar franchise will join in as well. So in the longer run, it will be beneficial for both the studios, and it would not have been the same if Fox was acquired by Comcast.