Nearly two years in the making, Disney’s $71.3 billion acquisition of the Twentieth Century Fox Studio and the FOX Broadcasting network and associated assets will close this evening.
The news was announced by 21st Century Fox, the umbrella corporation that owned the entertainment assets and will continue to retain ownership of FOX News and various sports outlets.
The deal will official finalize tonight at 12:02am Eastern, March 20th.
Already in the works for several months, the merger was first reported on in November 2017, with Disney offering $52.4 billion for Twentieth Century Fox Movie and TV studio and related assets including the FX cable networks and a 30% stake in the Hulu streaming service. Last summer, Comcast stepped in with an all-cash counter offer of $60 billion. Some additional back-and-forth raising of the ante later, Disney was laying out $71.3 billion for Fox.
Since it was first announced, we at FilmBuffOnline have been highly critical of the acquisition deal. The shrinking number of available outlets for filmmakers to take their projects to should be of concern to anyone who claims to like films. And we have expressed concern over the massive layoffs that have been predicted as a result of the merger. Currently, it is estimated that up to 7,500 people could be made redundant and put out of work. Meanwhile, some short-sighted sectors of fandom seem only excited that the Fantastic Four and X-Men characters, whose film rights were over at Fox, will now be eligible to be folded into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But for us, that is too high a price to pay.