Disney’s $71.3 billion purchase of the film and TV assets held by 21st Century Fox is one of the biggest media mergers ever. It also marks the first time a major movie studio has simply ceased to exist as an independent entity since the decay of MGM in the 1980s, taking the number of big movie studios in Hollywood from six down to five (Disney, Warner Bros., Sony, Universal, and Paramount).
And as of 12:02 am Eastern time on Wednesday, March 20, 2019, the merger is officially complete.
In this era of ever-accelerating media consolidation, the implications of this deal are pretty staggering.
But not everything is set in stone about how this new mega-company will function. There’s still plenty that even the people working for Fox and Disney don’t know about how the company will be structured. There are early plans, of course, but making something work on paper is very different from making it work in reality, and more questions are sure to be raised.
- Disney just purchased a boatload of movies and TV shows, a movie studio, a bunch of TV networks, and a controlling stake in Hulu
- Fox Corp still exists, independent from Disney. It’s primarily a news and sports company now, though it does still own the Fox TV network.
- Marvel once again has access to the X-Men and Fantastic Four characters