Disney has acquired a number of major companies these past few years but Fox might be its biggest target yet. Talks about a possible merger between the two companies have been floating around for a while, with Disney taking the first important step towards achieving that goal in December 2017. Back then, Disney offered $52.4 billion to buy 21st Century Fox, or at least parts of it. A final decision was supposed to be made on July 10th at a shareholders meeting. However, things got a bit more complicated in the meantime.
With just a few weeks to go until the meeting, Comcast decided that it also wanted a piece of Fox. As a result, the conglomerate recently outbid Disney by offering no less than $65 billion in stock. However, it didn’t take long for Disney to retaliate and make an even better offer. Namely, the company announced earlier today that it is offering a whopping $71.3 billion in stock and cash. In light of this new bid, the shareholders meeting has been postponed to a later date. The new date has yet to be announced. It’s possible that Comcast is considering to outbid Disney yet again. For the time being, though, the company did not announce a counter-offer.
What Disney Gets If the Deal Goes Through
Fox is a company with many branches and neither Disney nor Comcast were planning to buy all of them. Instead, the two were mainly aiming for 21st Century Fox’s movie and television studios along with a few networks. These would include Fox Sports Regional Networks, India’s Star network, and Sky. Fox only owns 39% of Sky but that would be enough to influence important decisions taking place at the network. 30% of Hulu is also on the table. Interestingly enough, both Disney and Comcast each already own 30% of Hulu. In other words, whichever company wins the bidding war will control the majority of Hulu and its services.
There’s a lot at stake here but it’s safe to say that what Disney is truly after are Fox’s TV and movie studios. Disney is already making money hand over fist thanks to Marvel and the MCU but that’s just a fraction of what it would be making if it acquires 21st Century Fox. That’s because Fox currently owns the rights to a large number of Marvel characters. If the deal goes through, these characters could be added to the MCU in the near future.
The Future of the MCU
Deadpool, X-Men, and the Fantastic Four are all currently owned by Fox, which is why they have yet to appear in a Marvel movie despite being commonplace in the comics. Spider-Man is another example. Luckily, he does appear in the MCU thanks to a mutually beneficial deal between Disney and Fox. A lot of fans were hoping that more deals like that could lead to the addition of other Fox-owned Marvel characters to the MCU. If Disney ends up acquiring 21st Century Fox, which seems likely now, that’s not just a possibility, it’s pretty much guaranteed.
The long-awaited crossover between the X-Men and the Avengers would be somewhat difficult to pull off at the moment. But not impossible. The events of Infinity War could be used to set the stage for the introduction of any number of major characters that were suspiciously missing from the MCU until now.
Moreover, important characters already present in the MCU like Iron Man and Captain America, among others, will have to change after Avengers 4 because Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans will no longer be playing the iconic superheroes. Nobody knows who is going to take up their mantle just yet. However, it’s clear that the MCU will undergo significant changes in the coming years. These kinds of changes tend to make fans unhappy under normal circumstances. In this case, fans will probably be more forgiving. That’s because Disney is very likely to introduce the X-Men to the MCU shortly after – or maybe even while – these big changes take place.