Disney acquires major stakes at 21st Century Fox

17 Dec

The Walt Disney Company has acquired most of 21st Century Fox in a $52.4 billion deal.

With the acquisition, Disney – which already boasts ESPN, the ABC television network, the Pixar studio, and the Marvel superhero franchise in its portfolio – now also has control over the studio’s movie and TV production arms, cable networks such as FX and National Geographic, as well as stakes in other media enterprises including Hulu, Star TV and Sky.

Observers have expressed concerns on this transaction, as it threatens media diversity. “If Fox is now part of Disney, then it’s hard to imagine that we’re not heading toward a universe where essentially all of the major media providers in the world are owned by three or maybe four companies,” said Todd VanDerWerff of Vox. “And while the most obvious issues with that stem from how media consumers are able to get news that takes on corporate interests, there are a host of others that range from the political to the artistic.”

US lawmakers also worry that the deal might be in violation of antitrust laws. “Disney’s proposed purchase of 21st Century Fox threatens to put control of TV, movie, and news content into the hands of a single media giant,” said House Representative David Cicilline (D-R.I.).