Could Disney/Fox Talks Give Marvel X-Men & Fantastic Four Back?

Posted November 07, 2017

Both 21st Century Fox and Walt Disney Company are scheduled to report quarterly results this week. A Disney spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Disney is in talks to purchase 21st Century Fox, acquiring its slate of original titles and rights to various franchises, according to a CNBC report.

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XAutoplay: On | OffAccording to CNBC sources, Fox has been in talks over the last few weeks to sell most of itself to Disney, though a deal is not a certainty, and the outlet says Disney and Fox are not in talks "at this very moment". But apparently there's been an on again/off again relationship with these negotiations, so they could resume at any minute.

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.

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Notably, Disney couldn't buy Fox's core TV resources even if it wanted to. Disney, which under US rules could not own two broadcast networks, would not purchase all of Fox, CNBC reported, citing the same sources. Adding Fox to that would give them a truly compelling library for their new streaming service. 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. Facebook, Alphabet's Google, Netflix and Amazon have dramatically changed the landscape within the media industry, causing big changes in how people consume media and becoming dominant in digital distribution. Disney will be able to get the rest including movie and TV properties.

21st Century FOX is in talks to sell parts of its company to Disney, in a deal that could see movie rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four return to Marvel. It hasn't been specifically detailed what they'll be selling to Disney but one can't help but imagine that a number of Marvel characters are included.

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CNBC could not learn the possible structure of the deal between Fox and Disney, nor could the price that is being discussed be determined.