Alec Bojalad

Dec 4, 2017

Disney's negotiations to acquire most of 21st Century Fox's assets have come back to life.

Rumors of the Disney/21st Century Fox deal’s demise may have been exaggerated. Walt Disney, Co. and 21st Century Fox have resumed discussions involving Disney acquiring Fox’s movie studio, 20th Century Fox, FX, FXX, and other assets according to the Wall Street Journal

News of the potential acquisition made waves throughout the entertainment and finance industries just last month. To the point where 21st Century Fox suspended trading activities. The initial reports were cautious, perhaps due to the hurdles the similar Time Warner and AT&T deal faced. Now Disney and Fox have re-engaged.

WSJ’s report offers a clearer look at exactly what Disney would potentially acquiring. 20th Century Fox is indeed the centerpiece of the deal – both the movie studio and respective networks. Fox’s 39% holding in Sky PLC and India’s Star TV would be included in the deal as well. As would the aforementioned FX and FXX. 

Fox is apparently interested in pivoting to mostly sports and cultural commentary, meaning Fox News and the sports network FS1 would stay put.

Rupert Murdoch is the majority shareholder of 21st Century Fox with 39% of shares and he will reportedly make a final decision by year’s end. 

The appeal of certain 21st Century Fox assets to Disney remain obvious and apparent. Disney is quickly cornering the movie blockbuster market with its Marvel and Lucasfilm brands. Not only would acquiring 20th Century Fox studios remove a major competitor, it would strengthen the Marvel brand by adding properties like X-Men and the Fantastic Four to the stable. 

The societal and economic implications of the deal are certainly up for debate. But the potential for the Marvel Cinematic Universe to get all of its superhero friends under one tent is undoubtedly of appeal.