Disney has officially completed its acquisition of 21st Century Fox, one of the biggest entertainment deals in history.
The $71 billion deal puts Disney in control of Fox’s movie and TV studios, the FX networks, National Geographic, and India’s Star India station. It also puts Disney is its strongest position yet to challenge the might of Netflix — along with whatever streaming service Apple comes up with.
“This is an extraordinary and historic moment for us – one that will create significant long-term value for our company and our shareholders,” said Disney CEO Bob Iger. “Combining Disney’s and 21st Century Fox’s wealth of creative content and proven talent creates the pre-eminent global entertainment company, well-positioned to lead in an incredibly dynamic and transformative era.”
The move will massively consolidate power in Hollywood. Not only does it put more top franchises like The Simpsons in Disney’s grasp, but it also reduces the “Big Six” studios down to five. Along with Disney, that includes Warner Bros, Universal, Sony Pictures, and Paramount.
Disney has additionally doubled its 30 percent stake in Hulu. This makes it overwhelmingly the majority stakeholder.
Apple and Disney
Apple has enjoyed a close relationship with Disney in the past. During his life, Steve Jobs was Disney’s single largest shareholder. (At various times, some analysts have even suggested that Apple should buy the company.)
As Apple gears up to launch its new streaming service, Disney now appears to be one of the biggest rivals that Apple will face. Disney will launch its own Disney+ streaming service in the near future.