Mergers and acquisitions in big business are nothing new, where companies are always on the hunt to stay relevant and increase profit margins while satisfying the ever-changing demands of consumers.
Walt Disney Corporation was once a company that had found its niche in family entertainment but has become a monolith of epic proportions.
Disney has now acquired 21st Century Fox in an all-stock purchase that will shake up the entertainment industry. This deal has many up in arms over what the sale will mean for conservative media and film studio, as media mogul Rupert Murdoch and his family have run the conservative Fox Corporation for decades.
And what does this mean for us as consumers? Many American families, tired of the leftist propaganda spewed by Disney in recent years, have boycotted the corporation entirely, and the cost to families – both financial and in terms of limiting entertainment options – could be severe.
The deal with Disney has many up in arms over what the sale will mean for conservative media and film studios. And what does this mean for us as consumers? Many American families, tired of the leftist propaganda spewed by Disney in recent years, have boycotted the corporation entirely, and the cost to families – both financial and in terms of limiting entertainment options – could be severe.
USA Today reported:
The $52.4 billion all-stock deal, announced Thursday, will shift some Fox television- and movie-making studios to Disney, as well as rights to some characters from the Marvel comic book universe that Fox now holds.
And it will likely make it easier for subscribers to the soon-to-be launched streaming service of ESPN, the sports network owned by Disney, to watch local sports.
Such a deal bulks up the kinds of shows Disney can provide viewers over one of its forthcoming streaming networks, essential as Disney gets ready to yank its shows off Netflix in 2019. It also gives Disney a bigger stake in television-streaming service Hulu, and give it part-ownership of an international network to distribute movies like Beauty and the Beast.
Disney Corporation is no stranger to the big business and tech worlds. Besides the animated children’s films, they are so famous for — from Snow White to Frozen — they had previously acquired Lucasfilm with the blockbuster Star Wars franchise, Pixar, which has emerged as an animation giant, and a portion of the television and film streaming service Hulu.
The Atlantic reported:
Fox supposedly opened talks with Disney because of a “growing belief among its senior management that scale in media is of immediate importance and there is not a path to gain that scale in entertainment through acquisition.” Disney, it seems, is the only company with the “scale” that Fox has in mind—the kind of limitless funds that can compete with expected future rivals like Amazon, Google, and Netflix.
By acquiring Fox’s stake [in Hulu], Disney would up its share in the streaming platform to a majority 60% share. With Disney already announcing plans to launch a non-sports streaming platform in 2019, it is possible the company will instead look to transform Hulu into this platform, or at the very least give itself another pawn in the future streaming media battle.
This merger will give Disney more bargaining power than ever before and bring plenty of new entertainment options to the consumer. The drawback to families may be an even higher cable or satellite TV bill each month, in addition to charges stemming from online streaming services.
With Disney pulling its content from Netflix and bolstering its services on Hulu – or even starting a new and separate Disney streaming service – families will need to make decisions on which services better fit their budget, and their family’s entertainment needs.
While it is hard to believe that a corporation like Disney could get any bigger, experts believe that there will be little resistance to approval of the sale. Because Fox News and some of the Murdoch family’s other subsidiaries will not be part of the deal, it appears Disney will be within FCC regulations overseen by the U.S. Department of Justice.
The Atlantic continued:
The Justice Department will be required to approve Disney’s acquisitions. But the two companies seem to have structured the transaction to smooth over regulatory concerns, says Vijay Jayant, an analyst with investment banking advisory firm Evercore ISI, in a note to investors last week. “We see no obvious regulatory issues without the inclusion of Fox broadcast.”
In the last few years, politicians have started pointing to the dangers of monopolies in the economy. Historically, the biggest concern for antitrust regulators has been that large companies have the power to push up prices and hurt consumers. But in the last few years, economists have emphasized other downsides of modern monopolies for the economy at large. Several of the country’s most obvious economic challenges—including stagnating wages, low labor-force participation, less business creation, and lower interstate-migration rates—may all be the outcome of rising “market power.”
However, it is hard to say with certainty that these deals have contributed to rising television prices, particularly since the pay-TV industry has long included both local cable monopolies and enormous monthly bills. In the last few decades, regulators have been consistently willing to approve such mergers that didn’t immediately appear to threaten consumers, even if they did raise other economic concerns.
Gone is the Golden Age of Hollywood with carefully-crafted films and iconic movie stars. Hollywood has been undergoing change for decades and has become an organizing arm of the liberal left.
Disney Corporation itself has come under fire for introducing liberal ideology into its supposedly family-friendly films, most recently with the first homosexual character being introduced in a Disney film in its blockbuster remake of Beauty and the Beast. And Mommy Underground previously reported on another instance where Disney perpetuated the LGBT agenda.
Will Disney’s newest monopoly power further decrease their reputation as being a family-friendly entertainment giant? With an even greater ability to produce blockbuster mega-films and offer their own streaming services to compete with Netflix, parents will have to see what content is appropriate for their children. We often think of the name “Disney” as equaling “kids and families,” but their image is likely to expand as they cater to a liberally-dominated public who seems to crave dark and sexual themes with adult-only content.
The Atlantic reported:
It would not be absurd to imagine that, in a good year for 21st Century Disney, it would account for half of the domestic movie business, creating a dominant advantage in Hollywood. But, as Disney’s own films show again and again, there is a virtue in humility. Those who seek dominance for its own sake rarely win in the end.
It remains to be seen what changes this new merger will bring to family entertainment in both cost and content. But one thing is certain – Disney has become a powerhouse corporation that is likely to keep its hold over both American and international cultures.