21st Century Fox Has Held Merger Talks With Disney

21st Century Fox Has Held Merger Talks With Disney

21st Century Fox Has Held Merger Talks With Disney

Disney is in talks to purchase 21st Century Fox, acquiring its slate of original titles and rights to various franchises, according to a CNBC report. Furthermore, Disney would also not buy Fox's sports programming assets in the interest that marrying them with ESPN would be viewed as anti-competitive from an anti-trust point of view. Such an agreement would prevent Disney from violating FCC rules, which prohibit one company from owning more than one of the four major broadcast networks - Disney already owns ABC.

They added the family-led empire created by mogul Rupert Murdoch had been in discussions to sell Fox's movie and television studios and leave a media company tightly focused on news and sports. If anything along these lines came true, it would have massive implications for sports, even without Fox Sports being involved in the deal.

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Shares of Twenty-First Century Fox rose 7.5 percent Monday afternoon following the CNBC report, while Walt Disney shares traded up 1.9 percent. Chatter had swirled late previous year about the impact of a possible Disney acquisition of Netflix, even though neither company had indicated that such a combination was in the works. That deal is now undergoing review by United Kingdom regulators. Fox, as well as Sony and other studios, bought up these rights granting 20th Century Fox the ability to make movies about Wolverine and Deadpool as well as other members of the X-Men family.

A Disney spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment while Fox declined to comment. Disney also would pick up Fox's Star and B Sky B global networks. With the company about to launch their own streaming service, that would be a huge boost. As a result, the deal is now effectively dead, though it should be noted that in Hollywood, deals do have a tendency to be resurrected after being officially announced as dead; the current deal between Sony and Marvel to share Spider-Man went through that very news cycle.

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