Disney has formalized an agreement to purchase 21st Century Fox in an all-stock deal with an estimated value of $52.4 billion. The deal includes key assets such as 20th Century Fox movie studio, FX and National Geographic channels, as well as Fox's television studios.
Many iconic films have made their way out of 20th Century Fox. Movies such as Miracle on 34th Street, Titanic, Avatar, the original Star Wars film, and The Grapes of Wrath will all become a part of Disney. However, Fox News, FS1 sports channel, and the Fox broadcast network are being retained by Fox.
Current CEO of Disney Robert Iger believes that the acquisition offers "the ability to marry the great content of Fox with the great content of Disney." Iger went on to explain that one of the reasons Disney was interested in the deal was to expand its international presence and to impact consumers in new ways.
Although large acquisitions and mergers often cause uncertainty in leadership, Disney has also announced that Iger will remain the acting CEO through 2021. Unfortunately for some staff at 20th Century Fox and fans of their movies, Walt Disney Studios may absorb some of the newly acquired employees following final approval from regulators.
There is some speculation that Disney may eventually go after cord cutters and start its own content delivery platform to compete with Netflix and cable TV providers. Even if Disney does not want to start its own platform, it will own 60% of Hulu following completion of the deal.
While Disney may not be the next streaming giant anytime soon, it certainly has enough influence in entertainment to shake up the scene. After raking in over $7 billion in box office revenue throughout 2016, expanding to an even wider audience could bring in more record profits.