Well, that was fast.
A while ago, we were made aware that Fox was putting rights for their TV properties up for sale, and Disney was the biggest interesting party looking to take the company into its arms. A transfer of characters from Disney to Fox would mean a number of things, but for some fans, the most important thing to come out of the shift would be the possibility of Fox’s X-Men characters gaining the chance to show up in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – as well as MCU characters finally gaining the ability to say the word “mutant” to refer to a superpowered person, something Fox previously had a copyright on.
However, the deal was delayed by an intervention from Comcast, who was also interested in owning Fox. With this being such a massive trade deal going on through so many companies, many assumed this would not see closure for a number of years, as Fox continued to hold out in hopes that someone would force Disney or Comcast to raise bids even higher.
However, according to a recent Reuters report on the topic, this is not the case. Disney has very quickly out-bid Comcast’s efforts, no other parties stepped in to complicate the process, and Disney will be walking away with all of Fox’s rights to film and TV characters.
Disney’s final bid that won the trade war was for $71.3 billion dollars, well up from their initial bid of $50.4 million. It seems Disney wasted no time in ending this trade disagreement and has once again clamped its jaws firmly on ownership of Fox’s characters.
Comcast’s concession on this deal comes partially from their continued attempts to win ownership of British television network Sky Pic, which represents their commitment to expand into British television networking as well. And it seems the choice to turn down a second bid on Fox will pay off for them, as according to the Reuters report, Fox and Disney have both announced that they are unlikely to attempt to outbid Comcast’s offer for ownership of the company.
As an additional reward for Comcast quitting the bidding war, investors rose Comcast’s stock 2.7 percent recently out of relief that they would not put an absurd amount of money up to this battle.
Out of this deal, Disney gains a cable group with FX Networks, National Geographic and 300-plus international channels, plus Fox’s stake in Hulu.
Just before the deal is made, Fox is looking to separate the Big Ten Network, its sports channels, Fox News and Fox Business onto a splinter company that they will encourage their shareholders to support as well. Apparently Fox would like to keep a select few of its TV companies out of the hands of Disney, and with Disney’s focus on keeping everything kid friendly, we don’t think they would mind missing out on the acquisition of Fox News.
But as larger companies continue to buy up smaller ones, real diversity in the business world continues to shrink further and further. Although Disney’s deal with Fox may seem like a positive occurrence at the moment that could push the beloved Marvel Universe further than ever, there may come a day when these massive conglomerates become more problematic than beneficial to the public. After all, a decrease in competition is almost never a good thing.