Homer and Mickey in a 21st Century-Disney?: The modern implications of mergers and acquisitions in the entertainment industry

Naomi Owolabi, LLB student, King’s College London

After Star Wars: The Last Jedi achieved $220 million[1] in its opening weekend late last year, Disney’s potential purchase of 21st Century Fox and its subsidiaries for $52.4 billion[2] (£39 billion) may end up conferring to the company dominance over Hollywood. Disney has publicly stated that its aim with this deal is to enter the market of online streaming and rival its competitors in the sector, the most direct one currently being Netflix.

The Disney-21st Century Fox merger, formally proposed last December, is only the latest and most visible example of a trend of convergence among the big players in the Entertainment and Media (E&M) industry in the last few decades. A convergence that is at the centre of the academic and public eye by reason of its potential compatibility with antitrust regulation and potential economic fallouts. This article seeks to explain the direct and broader economic and legal consequences of this negotiating monumental international merger, which is attracting both praises and critiques from Washington.

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