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Businesses Entertainment

Disney Makes Deal for 21st Century Fox, Reshaping Entertainment Landscape (nytimes.com) 171

Disney is going all in for its upcoming fight with Netflix and other streaming giants. The Walt Disney Company said Thursday that it had reached a deal to buy most of the assets of 21st Century Fox, the conglomerate controlled by Rupert Murdoch, in an all-stock transaction valued at roughly $52.4 billion. From a report: To complete the integration, a legacy-defining task, Robert A. Iger, Disney's chief executive, agreed to renew his contract for a fourth time, delaying retirement from July 2019 to the end of 2021. While the merger still requires approval by antitrust regulators -- and the Justice Department recently moved to block a big media company from becoming even bigger -- the once unthinkable acquisition promises to reshape Hollywood and Silicon Valley. It is the biggest counterattack from a traditional media company against the tech giants that have aggressively moved into the entertainment business. Disney now has enough muscle to become a true competitor to Netflix, Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook in the fast-growing realm of online video. Alternative source: Variety.
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Disney Makes Deal for 21st Century Fox, Reshaping Entertainment Landscape

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  • Does that include (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 14, 2017 @07:30AM (#55737175)
    Does that include the fake news business? Micky mouse meets a gay liberal muslim conspiracy to give everyone affordable healthcare!
  • by Baron_Yam ( 643147 ) on Thursday December 14, 2017 @07:44AM (#55737225)

    We wouldn't want that bastion of fair and balanced quality journalism to be tainted by Disney.

  • Fox News (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    It's like the media in the SOVIET UNION.

  • Boycott Disney (Score:4, Insightful)

    by theguyfromsaturn ( 802938 ) on Thursday December 14, 2017 @07:46AM (#55737237)

    That's it. I'm Boycotting all Disney products. I hope people wake up and start doing this before they completely destroy the entertainment industry. I was feeling uneasy about them for a while, but this is the last straw. They need to be made to divest of a large part of their recent acquisitions. This kind of monopoly is good for no one.

    • In this case, doesn't it at least mean that some media IP is no longer split between rivals, so we can see all our favourite characters from the same universe in the same movies?

      We want movies that pander to us (though we have different ideas as to how that pandering should be done). This will allow more committee-based movies to check more boxes for focus groups and give us what we want.

      It won't destroy quality thought-provoking movies... there's always another generation of talented people trying to brea

      • Disney will have to much NFL now!

      • by CODiNE ( 27417 )

        As far as the Fantastic Four goes, apparently FOX leases that from a smaller company that acquired the rights long ago. So they won't be in Avengers 4 or anything.

        • by ranton ( 36917 )

          As far as the Fantastic Four goes, apparently FOX leases that from a smaller company that acquired the rights long ago. So they won't be in Avengers 4 or anything.

          Any confusion over whether or not Fantastic Four would be part of this deal was put to rest today by Disney. Read the actual press release [thewaltdisneycompany.com] and you will see Fantastic Four was included in this deal.

    • Re:Boycott Disney (Score:4, Insightful)

      by MitchDev ( 2526834 ) on Thursday December 14, 2017 @08:04AM (#55737343)

      Used DVDs/Blu-rays are a good deal and the media corps get NOTHING from the resales...

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Yeah, let's start that boycott in a few weeks though, I wouldn't want to miss the new Star Wars movie.

    • Ok, so you think Disney has too much of a monopolistic influence in entertainment. I disagree that it is a significant problem, provided that the contracts of the key content creators they have under their control are not unreasonably coercive. Being a bigger content provider does not worry me. I would be worried if they started buying and operating movie theaters or broadband networks (ie, buying Comcast).

      Disney is fundamentally a creator of content. They own ABC and want to have their own streaming se

      • by Trogre ( 513942 )

        Clearly you see a problem, but what is an ideal situation for you, and how does it change things from how they are now for a typical consumer?

        The fact that with more money than God it will now be even easier for them to buy more laws that serve their ends (see theft of the Public Domain for one prime example).

  • As things stand, you can't get Disney films on Netflix (I believe there's one star wars film on there right now, possibly as a test or something). If Disney buys 21st Century, then there'll be even less on Netflix as those titles get removed as well.

    One wonders if this can be seen as Disney becoming a 'better competitor' or just muscling out the opposition. Netflix offers something Disney seem incapable of - that is, what the customer actually wants, rather than what a big media company says they can have.

    • >As things stand, you can't get Disney films on Netflix (I believe there's one star wars film on there right now, possibly as a test or something).

      I suspect that would be, "A New Hope", because Disney doesn't own that until this deal goes through. Once it does, they'll pull it from Netflix to support their own streaming offerings instead.

    • As things stand, you can't get Disney films on Netflix

      That's not true. I remember seeing Moana on there recently. They have a bunch of Marvel films. The Marvel TV shows are produced jointly by Netflix and Disney. Rogue One is on Netflix. I think there may be a Pixar film or two.

      I'm not arguing with your larger point, which is that Disney has gotten awfully big, and we should be on the lookout for anticompetitive practices. However, it's not true that there's no Disney content on Netflix.

      • I replied to someone else below you with the results of a search for "disney" on the netflix phone app. With a couple of notable exceptions, almost no disney on (my) Netflix. Some are on Amazon, but you have to pay for them there.

        I'll also say I'm not too sad about that - we've inherited lots of DVDs from the family/friends, so with only a couple of exceptions, we're not giving Disney any actual money for films, either directly through sales or indirectly through streaming services.

      • If you are looking for Disney content on Netflix you should look in the children and family section. Netflix has a deal with Disney and a lot of Disney content though if that deal ends then yes it going to hurt Netflix it will almost wipe out their children's sections.

        • Nope - still not there. A Force Awakens, and a couple of others, but that's it from Disney. See below for a full list.

          It seems it varies by region. Should have known really.

    • by EvilSS ( 557649 )

      As things stand, you can't get Disney films on Netflix.

      That's not true at all. They cut a deal that runs through 2019 for most new Disney titles to go to Netflix like 3 months after home media release. Plus a ton of back catalog. Just go there and login and search for Disney. TONS of Disney movies on Netflix.

      • I have to disagree - maybe it's by location. I just tried the search you suggested, and I got:

        James and the giant peach
        strange magic
        tomorrow lands
        star wars force awakens
        avengers
        thor
        antman
        ghost patrol
        air buddies
        kate and mim mim
        Air bud
        Wild Ride
        Air Bud
        Jake's buccaneer blast
        Yo Kai Watch
        Harry Bunnie
        Air Bud
        Fangbone
        Walt before Mickey
        Air Bud

        So apart from a couple of exceptions, almost none of that list is actually Disney.

        • by EvilSS ( 557649 )
          Are you outside the US? In the US there are hundreds of Disney films available. Mulan, Hercules, Beauty and the Beast, Pocahontas, Moana, Zootpia, Finding Dory, The Jungle Book, Atlantis, Pirates of the Caribbean, Mulan II, GotG Vol 2... The list goes on and on.

          Also we should discuss what you consider "a couple" because in my part of the world 20 isn't even close.
    • On Netflix as of right now:

      Lilo & Stitch
      Lilo & Stich 2
      Leroy & Stitch
      Moana
      Mulan
      Hercules
      Zootopia
      Finding Dory
      Atlantis
      Tarzan II
      Kronk's New Groove
      An Extremely Goofy Movie
      Phineas & Ferb
      A bunch of the Tinkerbell movies
      Fox & Hound
      Mickey's Christmas Carol
      Pete's Dragon
      The BFG

      That's all I'm going to bother to list, but there are dozens more.

  • the back catalog for ever. For every stream of a movie.
    • They currently still sell physical media. For the older movies, 1080p is enough to pass down for a few generations, until playing physical media is completely impossible. DMCA will hopefully relax on AACS when DVD/Blu-Ray players come off the market (not that my Blu-Rays aren't already ripped).

  • I must have missed something: what online video capability does Fox have? They are just buying the content.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 14, 2017 @08:07AM (#55737361)

    I believe in low regulation, but think the government needs to step in when the market becomes uncommunicative, whether that be the desktop OS market, the internet service provider market, the search engine market or the movie industry. Unfortunately, both parties are now bought and paid for by industry, and are completely unwilling to intervene in uncompetitive markets.

    An increasing number of markets are tending towards monopolies, and in all cases the company in charge is abusing that monopoly. Rather than intervene, the government actively encourages them, banning community run ISPs, allowing mergers and removing barriers to abuse.

    What we have is not capitalism and the free market, it's more like a corrupt soviet system run by a small number of elites. We desperately need to restore a competitive market place by splitting up monopoly companies.

  • Rupert Murdoch is probably the most politically powerful person on Earth. If he's giving up his news channels and newspapers, he could fall a few places and leave an opening for the current #2, Mark Zuckerberg.

  • Your local FSN $5-6/mo + must be in basic level

  • Now only south park can bash the mouse the Simpsons will be banned from doing it!

  • by substance2003 ( 665358 ) on Thursday December 14, 2017 @08:24AM (#55737459)
    Am I the only one that worries about this? Disney has been gobbling up IP for the last few years with Marvel and LucasFilms and with the acquisition of Fox's movies (which include some of Marvel's IP) I find it to be a bit much. It also means there will be one less studio out there making movies in a world where other studios such as Sony and Paramount are reporting losses. There were even rumors of Sony wanting to sell their movie studio. Will Disney eat them up too in some near future?
    • other studios such as Sony and Paramount are reporting losses

      I do not think that means what you think it means.

      • No it's pretty much exactly as he said. Sony Pictures reported a Net Loss of over $900mil last year. Now admittedly that was due in part to close to a $1bn writedown in its movie business (which is itself a reflection of profitability) but a movie studio making less than $50m is virtually unheard of. Of course Sony's 4 big movies that year were a huge flop grossing some $350m. For comparison Spectre alone grossed over $1bn the year before.

        Sony spent the best part of this year justifying to shareholders and

    • They don't care about entertainment value, only money. But art and business, especially risk averse suits, do not mix. The masses will smell the stench of stale, watered down pandering sooner or later.

  • Does that include Firefly? And will Disney let it rot, or rape the corpse?

  • by Truekaiser ( 724672 ) on Thursday December 14, 2017 @08:42AM (#55737539)

    21st century fox has the licenses for spiderman and x-men. Disney has said they want all marvel properties under one roof...

    • Sony has Spider-Man, and they've made a deal with Disney.

      Fox has X-Men and Fantastic Four.

      • by EvilSS ( 557649 )
        Actually Fox doesn't have Fantastic Four, they just have a deal with Constantin Film to produce films under their license. Constantin Film owns the license.
        • by ranton ( 36917 )

          Actually Fox doesn't have Fantastic Four, they just have a deal with Constantin Film to produce films under their license. Constantin Film owns the license.

          Read the actual press release [thewaltdisneycompany.com] and you will see Fantastic Four was included in this deal.

        • Actually, Fox does have the Fantastic Four film rights. They were explicitly stated to be included in this deal, so it's likely that one of the renegotiations over the rights throughout the years (e.g. in 1994 when Marvel bought out the low-budget Fantastic Four film to spike its release, or around 2000 when Fox and Constantin negotiated an extension to the rights) resulted in Fox buying out Constantin's rights, perhaps in exchange for some other obligation, such as being required to attach Constantin to ea

    • They could easily buy the right to DC as well if the price was right.
      • DC is part of Warner Bros. Buying Warner would bring Daffy Duck and Donald Duck under the same umbrella, which I imagine would raise antitrust suspicion even in a Republican administration.

      • by q4Fry ( 1322209 )

        They could easily buy the right to DC as well if the price was right.

        I thought Disney already had a controlling stake in DC: the Copyright Office, the trademark part of USPTO, and a couple hundred legislators.

    • 21st century fox has the licenses for spiderman and x-men. Disney has said they want all marvel properties under one roof...

      The only thing I like about this is that Fox won't be able to make any more shitty movies with the Marvel IP. Fan4stick was atrocious.

  • Once Disney rules them all and binds them in a Magical Kingdom, will we be trading in MickeyCoins?
    • No. Why would a private corporation want a blockchain currency whose security would depend on maintaining more processing power on the network than the rest of the world combined?

      They could (if they haven't already via a partnership with Visa or other major entity) issue a DisneyCard and require it for transactions with their empire.

  • by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Thursday December 14, 2017 @08:49AM (#55737587)

    So this would bring Deadpool, the Xmen, Wolverine, The Fantastic Four, Star Wars: A New Hope, and a large catalog of other content under the Disney brand. I think the only major Marvel property they wouldn't own would be Spiderman which Sony has the rights to and Sony is playing nice.

    Of course there is a lot of other content and assets owned by Fox [wikipedia.org].

    • by EvilSS ( 557649 )
      Constantin Film owns the FF4 film rights, they just have a deal with Fox to produce the films for them.
      • by tepples ( 727027 )

        And after the acquisition, they have a deal with Disney to produce the films for them.

        • by EvilSS ( 557649 )
          Yea there are a few options on the table. Disney takes over the Fox role, producing the films for Constantin. Disney buys back the rights (Constantin's parent company might be up for that, they need the money). Disney uses the Fox exclusive production deal (if it's worded to allow it) with Constantin to run out the clock on a rights-reversion clause by refusing to produce new films.
    • Now try to imagine Kingdom Hearts 4...

    • I wanna see Hulk smash the Death Star. There's probably some other universe mashups that would be awesome too.

  • Disney now has enough muscle to become a true competitor to Netflix, Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook in the fast-growing realm of online video.

    Netflix: movies and TV shows including exclusives.
    Apple: for now, simply a reseller/renting service, nothing else.
    Amazon: movies and TV shows including exclusives, but AFAIK a lot smaller than Netflix - at least in Canada.
    Google: YouTube is for short videos, not full movies.
    Facebook: Are you kidding me? FUCK FACEBOOK.

    They did not mention Crackle, Sony's ad-ridden

  • I'm sure we've all felt a disturbance...

  • Before you get all giddy, this won't affect Fox News.
  • by kwerle ( 39371 ) <kurt@CircleW.org> on Thursday December 14, 2017 @12:27PM (#55739407) Homepage Journal

    Apple cash: >200B
    Disney Market Cap: ~166B

    That doesn't seem like a contest.

    • That's because Disney actually spends their money. They bought Lucasfilm and Marvel. They constantly upgrade their theme parks. They have a lot of R&D behind *every* attraction at their parks.

      Apple sells their wares for 4x cost of materials then hides behind Ireland.

  • Take the "esh" out of "Reshaping" and you'll have an accurate story title.

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