It is difficult to see Disney and Fox as compatible, considering their very different beginnings and the patriarchs that were involved in their creation.
The Walt Disney Company began as the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio by Walt and Roy Disney in 1923 after Walt moved to Hollywood.
Rupert Murdoch, the founder of the FOX Network, took over his father’s journalism assets when he was 21 after his father’s death and focused on the expansion and acquisition of others.
Fox was launched On October 9, 1986, a competitor for the “Big Three” television networks ABC, NBC, and CBS.
In comparison, both Disney and FOX started with some big competition and went on to become large media companies that have been consistently focused on expanding.
Does Disney Own FOX?
Disney purchased 21st Century FOX on March 20, 2019, in one of the largest and most complex acquisitions of one media company to another. The Murdoch family retained ownership of FOX News and FOX Networks because antitrust regulations wouldn’t allow Disney to own more than one of the major television networks.
Who Owns Fox?
While Disney purchased some of FOX’s assets like 20 Century FOX (the FOX would be dropped from the title later), Searchlight, Blue Sky Animation, and National Geographic, FOX News and other FOX networks are still owned by the Murdoch family.
US regulations stop one of the four big television networks from purchasing another, leaving the majority of the television network business in the hands of Rupert Murdoch and the Murdoch family.
Does FOX Corporation Have A Relationship With Disney?
The Murdoch family, after having sold off some assets to Disney, still owns the Fox Corporation. The Fox Corporation is in no way connected with Disney or the assets it purchased any longer.
To make sure there was no connection between the two, Disney dropped the word “FOX” from its assets in 2020. Disney did not want 21st Century or Searchlight to be mistakenly connected with the FOX news networks.
With the merger, Disney acquired not only major players in film production (20th Century Studios has been in business for more than 85 years) but also stake in specific assets that would boost its business on Disney+, namely HULU.
Does Disney Own Any Stake In FOX Corporation?
Since Disney’s acquisition of certain assets from FOX, it no longer has any stake in the company FOX Corporation.
Before the acquisition, Disney already owned a 30% stake in the streaming service Hulu. With the megamerger, Disney got FOX’s 30% stake, making it the majority owner of Hulu.
A few months later, Disney dropped its streaming service, Disney+. Disney+ is a direct competitor of Hulu, however, Disney has complete control over both services.
What Is The Connection Between Disney And FOX?
Disney spent $71 billion on many of 21st Century FOX’s assets in March or 2019. Since Disney was unable to buy FOX networks, the Murdoch family retained its television networks.
Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, was eager to make this merger happen because Disney was planning on releasing its streaming service Disney+ later that year.
Iger believed that FOX’s vast library of movies, shows, and brands like National Geographic would be a profitable addition to Disney+ upon its release.
Disney also purchased FOX Studios, giving the already huge movie-making company more assets to create content for its streaming service.
What Other Companies Does Disney Own?
Disney owns ABC, which is why it was unable to purchase FOX News with its other acquisitions in 2019.
Among the other companies Disney owns:
- An 80% stake in ESPN
- Touchstone Pictures
- The History Channel
- Marvel Studios
- Pixar Studios
Disney has ownership of many other film franchises and animation studios. Many of these were only acquired after Bob Iger became CEO in 2005.
Does Disney Plan To Acquire FOX?
Disney has already bought everything from FOX that it can without aggravating US regulations. Since Disney already owns ABC, it cannot legally buy one of the remaining large television networks.
When CEO Bob Iger purchased FOX assets, the networks themselves were not the main focus. Disney wished to acquire film and show rights to include on its streaming service Disney+.
Since purchasing any of the remaining assets owned by FOX Corporation would go against FCC regulations, Disney has no plans on purchasing any further assets from FOX.
The assets Disney has purchased already have dropped the FOX brand from their titles to differentiate them from the networks owned by the Murdoch family.
Most common questions on Disney ownership: