The Walt Disney Company on Wednesday sealed its $71 billion (Rs 4.88 lakh crore) deal to acquire businessman Rupert Murdoch’s mass media firm 21st Century Fox.
With this agreement, Disney has taken over Twentieth Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Fox 2000 Pictures, Fox Family, and Fox Animation, Twentieth Century Fox Television, FX Productions, Fox21, FX Networks, National Geographic, Fox Networks Group International, and Star India, Variety reported.
“This is an extraordinary and historic moment for us, one that will create significant long-term value for our company and our shareholders,” Disney Chairperson Bob Iger said on Tuesday. “Combining Disney’s and 21st Century Fox’s wealth of creative content and proven talent creates the preeminent global entertainment company, well positioned to lead in an incredibly dynamic and transformative era.”
On Tuesday, Disney also completed the separation of assets of 21st Century Fox. Part of these assets will move to Disney, and the others to Fox Corporation, which began trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange on the same day.
The number of major Hollywood studios dropped from six to five as a result of this acquisition: Disney, Warner Bros, Universal, Sony Pictures and Paramount Pictures, The Guardian reported. The deal will allow Disney to take on United States-based media services provider Netflix and technology firm Amazon, it added.
In September last year, the US Department of Justice allowed Disney’s proposal to partially buy 21st Century Fox. Fox had earlier accepted the bid from Disney for its movie and television assets. The approval came on the condition that Disney must sell Fox’s regional sports networks as they could form a monopoly in sports broadcasting, as Disney already owns ESPN.