Disney’s formal acquisition of 21st Century Fox, which took effect last week, is being touted as one of the biggest media mergers ever. The $71.3 billion purchase of the film and TV assets held by 21st Century Fox, the 104-year-old company, has brought The Simpsons, Star Wars, and The Avengers under one roof now.
It is also the first time that a major movie studio has simply ceased to exist as an independent entity since the decay of one of the oldest film studios, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, MGM in the ’80s.
The acquisition has brought the big movie studio count in Hollywood from six to five with Disney, Warner Bros., Sony, Universal and Paramount in the fray.
The Walt Disney Company had announced its intent to acquire the film, cable entertainment and direct broadcast satellites divisions of 21st Century Fox back in December 2017. Negotiations have been going on since then.
Though Fox Corp is the legal successor to 21st Century Fox and Rupert Murdoch is very much there in the league. Fox Corp still has many holdings, including Fox Sports, Fox News, and the Fox TV network.
In fact, Fox Corp still owns Fox TV due to an FCC policy that no one corporation can own more than one broadcast network and Disney already owns the ABC network.
The deal, which came to effect on March 20, 2019, combines Disney’s film studios, ABC broadcasting network and theme parks with Fox’s film and TV studios and the FX and National Geographic broadcast networks.
The merger not only brings Disney back to the top of the Hollywood but also represents the fight back against technology giants that have changed the face of theatrical entertainment, Netflix and Amazon in particular.
Layoffs were announced, beginning Thursday.
20th Century Fox Television Distribution president Mark Kaner was among the senior executives who were formally notified with severance details on Friday morning.
Layoff notices were also sent to dozens of staffers on the film side of the studio, including numerous executives at the president, executive VP, and senior VP level.
Large-scale layoffs were expected as part of the historic consolidation of two of Hollywood’s oldest studios, but the mass exodus has not been notified yet.
Another news that has been garnering attention is the fact that the Disney-owned Marvel studios will once again have the access to the X-Men and Fantastic Four characters, whose rights were sold to 20th Century Fox in 1990s when Marvel, which wasn’t a part of Disney then, was facing financial problems.
On March 19, 2019, Fox Corp officially began trading on the American stock-marketing index, S&P 500, replacing 21st Century Fox.
Republican politician and former speaker of the house Paul Ryan also joined Fox’s board at this time.
Disney TV Animation News also shared a video on YouTube, The Final Welcome, to welcome 21st Century Fox.