In a move that could be one of the biggest shake-ups in Hollywood in many years, CNBC reports Disney was reportedly in talks to potentially buy 21st Century Fox.
The advantages are huge – the deal would bring the original “Star Wars” trilogy and the prequel films under their roof, same with the “X-Men” and Fox’s other Marvel properties, plus it would nab FOX’s other lucrative franchises like “Avatar” and “Alien”. On top of that they would have a prestige arm in Fox Searchlight, and potentially all of Fox’s back catalogue of films for their standalone streaming service launching in 2019 (assuming Fox’s existing deals don’t prevent it).
Talks have apparently been going on for weeks, and if they go through then Fox would essentially get out of the movie business to put their focus on its TV, news and sports divisions. Though talks are no longer active at the moment according to The Wall Street Journal, the report notes they could certainly resume as Fox is reportedly still very interested in selling its entertainment divisions in order to focus on its most profitable areas.
The ramifications of such a deal are immense, but The Federal Trade Commission may not be keen on it due to potential monopoly issues – such a deal for example means Disney can’t take Fox Television or Fox Sports because they already own ABC and ESPN and can’t own two broadcast networks.
More as it develops.