On the last month of the year before, The Walt Disney Company stunned the world by announcing its intention to acquire 20th Century Fox and various other assets from the greater Fox media empire of Rupert Murdoch. It’s now close to two months since then. What’s been happening so far?
While negotiations between Disney and Fox continue apace, along with the efforts to make this deal pass muster against government regulations, the House of Mouse’s CEO Bob Iger said Tuesday on a CNBC interview that so far he has been “encouraged” by the progress of the pre-acquisition work thus far.
So what’s Disney been talking about with Fox from December 2017 to early this February? “We spent the last 6 weeks or so learning more about their businesses,” says Iger. He adds that the encouragement isn’t just with him, but also with the senior Fox executives they’ve been meeting with.
Again, for those who are excited about, say, having the X-Men film franchise of 20th Century Fox be “reunited” with Marvel Studios and the MCU, don’t hold your breaths yet. A mega-deal of this magnitude is going to take 12 months to a year and a half to be completed.
Then again, the excitement can be understandable. If the House of Mouse can pass the regulatory process hurdle with Fox on this, then the latter’s film studios, some TV networks and regional sports channels, and majority ownership stakes on several affiliated media companies like Hulu and Sky in the UK.
Disney’s latest quarterly earnings were announced on Tuesday, February 6. While expectations were surpassed, revenue numbers were a bit short. One other thing Iger can share is that if the company’s asset deal with Fox succeeds, then the House of Mouse won’t be repeating that acquisition stunt any time soon.