Disney's acquisition of Fox is now effectively complete. Reports of Disney's interest in buying Fox first emerged in late 2017 but the complex transaction has experienced over a year of twists, turns and tribulations, while onlookers continued to speculate as to the ramifications the deal may have on certain franchises. Disney had to contend with a number of rival offers from Comcast but the Mouse House always looked more likely to get the deal over the line and by Summer 2018, they were once again the only contender in the race to acquire Fox and its assets.
Since then, the Disney/Fox deal has undergone a tedious and detailed legal approval process. Shareholders from both companies overwhelmingly backed the acquisition and approval was granted from the EU, subject to certain terms, as well as Brazil and finally Mexico earlier this month. On March 12, it was officially announced that the deal would finally close at 12:02am Eastern Time on March 20, 2019.
One of the final steps in this long process is the distribution of Fox shares. A previous announcement already confirmed how many shareholders had elected to take cash and how many chose to receive shares in Disney instead, and a new press release from 21st Century Fox has confirmed that the process is finally complete. The announcement confirms that all "issued and outstanding shares" have been paid out and also states that "21CF" and "Fox" are now separately listed as standalone publicly traded companies.
With this announcement, Disney's acquisition of Fox is all but complete and with only hours now remaining until the official handover time, there is little left to do but wait for the deal to formally close.
Naturally, there are both positive and negative arguments regarding this landmark movie industry shift. On one hand, many moviegoers are understandably excited about the prospect of the mighty Disney acquiring certain key properties. One of the most hotly debated of these is the return of the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises to Marvel Studios, with the rights having previously belonged to Fox. This paves the way for these iconic Marvel characters to finally make their appearance in the MCU and many believe that this anticipation is damaging the forthcoming release of Dark Phoenix.
On the other hand, some spectators are warning that having so many media properties collected under the umbrella of a single company, in this case Disney, will prove to be detrimental to the movie industry as a whole. The argument suggests that as major studios continue to be bought by other major studios, the competitiveness and diversity of the business begins to suffer and smaller studios struggle to make an impact against their far richer competitors.