November surprise! CNBC is reporting that Fox has been in talks with Disney to sell off most of its assets, leaving behind a lean sports/news organization.

The talks have taken place over the last few weeks and there is no certainty they will lead to a deal. The two sides are not currently talking at this very moment, but given the on again, off again nature of the talks, they could be revisited.

For Fox, the willingness to engage in sale talks with Disney stems from 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. The company is said to believe that a more tightly focused group of properties around news and sports could compete more effectively in the current marketplace.

Significantly, this would reunite the Fox-controlled Marvel properties – X-men, Deadpool and Fantastic Four – at Disney once more, and we’d finally see the FF come back to the comics pages.

Disney would also gain such properties as The Simpsons, Planet of the Apes and Avatar.

Fox stocks prices immediately soared, and trading had to be halted.

 

As juicy as this rumor is, the fact that its been leaked suggests one side or the other wants some leverage in the deal, and makes it, in MY opinion anyway, less likely. News of the Disney-Marvel and Disney-Lucasfilms mergers didn’t leak and they went through.

If this deal did go through, the happiest person on earth would probably be Marvel President Isaac Perlmutter, whose hatred of the Fox deal has led to a lot of behind the scenes agita and lack of cooperation. (By comparison, Sony and the MCU are now Spider-Man led besties.)

Developing to say the least.

UPDATE: I think some observers are making more explicit what was hinted at in the CNBC piece – that the talks are currently dead.

 

Walt Disney Co. held talks to buy 21st Century Fox Inc.’s movie studio and other assets, a person familiar with the matter said, a deal that would have given the entertainment giant control of another studio and TV networks across the world. The two sides aren’t talking anymore, said the person, who asked not to be identified discussing private information. Fox shares surged as much as 8.9 percent, and Disney rose as much as 2.4 percent after CNBC first reported on the discussions. Both companies declined to comment.

 

2 COMMENTS

  1. Can I ask why everyone is cheering for more consolidation? Is Marvel getting the X-men and FF “back” really that important compared to the possible consequences?

    I mean comic fans more than anyone should realize the effects consolidation can have on an industry and that is without getting into Diamond and the Direct Market. Look how Marvel destroyed Malibu or DC has sidelined Wildstorm. Consolidation rewards corporations to do the bare minimum since without robust competition there is no one to challenge the status quo. Let’s say back in the 80’s Marvel was granted the license to DC’s properties, do you think we would have gotten any of the groundbreaking works that followed after the deal was quashed.

    I understand fans wanting Dr. Doom or Wolverine to show up in the Avengers, but to champion something like this acquisition for that reason seems shortsighted.

  2. Disney all ready has too much of a monopoly as you can get: ABC Television, LucasFilms, Marvel (Comics & Studios), Pixar, ESPN, Touchstone Pictures, and now those wanting them to OWN 20th Century-Fox; just so they can have more Marvel connected IP X-Men and Fantastic Four, and whatever else 20th Century owns on IP is still to much monopoly.

    When will everyone acknowledge that the House of Mouse has become a Family (Big Brother) Entertainment that acts more like Microsoft. And that company got in trouble for this type of monopoly; and so have others. But it appears, let’s just ignore the heresy, and bad business practices just so we can buy their stuff.

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