Though most normal people don’t know it, there is currently a business deal underway that will perhaps end up being the largest merger in world history, with huge ramifications for America’s embrace of corporatism, as well as the collapsing Western world’s addiction to entertainment.
I’m talking about Disney’s $66 billion acquisition of Fox.
As I’ve said before, despite my personal feelings about the false Societal Programming it has permanently introduced into the human condition, Disney is one of the most well-run and effective companies in the history of business. It started about 90 years ago in a tiny studio and today runs a vast, world-wide business empire that rivals anything we’ve ever seen.
In addition to its own numerous and profitable properties (movies, characters, licensing, theme parks, and on and on), Disney also owns Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel, ABC, ESPN, 30% of Hulu, 50% of A&E (which owns shows like Breaking Bad)… and now soon, 20th Century Fox.
Fox is already a vast empire in and of itself. It owns, to name just a few properties, The Simpsons, the Avatar franchise, the Ice Age franchise, Empire, Family Guy, the Alien franchise, X-Files, Modern Family, How I Met Your Mother, the FX channel, National Geographic Channel, most regional sports channels and shows (which is the most profitable part of the deal), Star India Network, 39% of England’s Sky network, and another 30% of Hulu (bringing Disney to 60% ownership of Hulu). Fox also owns the gigantic Fox lot which is an iconic, multi-billion dollar facility. In addition, Disney would receive back all of the Marvel properties that it now doesn’t have, including the X-Men, Deadpool, and the Fantastic Four.
And on, and on, and on.
And soon, Disney will own it all.
The only thing Disney isn’t getting is the Fox News channels. This is because Disney doesn’t care about distribution; it just wants content. Why?
To compete with Netflix. Despite the fact that it loses money every year, Netflix is a seemingly endless supply of billions of dollars of new content. They plan to spend a staggering $8 billion on original content in 2018. Amazing.
Well, Disney doesn’t like that one bit. They want their own streaming service. And with the Fox properties plus their own, they’ll have it. Likely they’ll re-brand Hulu as some kind of gigantic Disney streaming service, where you could subscribe to it for $9 a month and get instant access to every Marvel movie, Star Wars movie, Alien movie, and numerous other franchises or TV shows, on top of original content, which, knowing Disney, would probably be very good (the new dreadful Star Wars movies excepted of course). It would be a serious rival to the seemingly indestructible Netflix.
As usual with corporatist moves like this, this acquisition will result in massive layoffs at Fox. Estimates run anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 people will lose their jobs. I personally think those are conservative estimates and the final number will be well north of 10,000.
Disney already has 21.8% of market share for movies, which is the highest of any other company in the world. Fox has 12%, and this acquisition moves Disney to 33.8% of all movies, which is almost double the next highest entertainment company (Warner Brothers which is at 18%).
This also means that the deal will give Disney 40% of all box office revenue in the world.
This is what happens under corporatism. Over the years, both Fox and Disney have received countless billions of dollars of taxpayer money from the government, either as subsidies or special treatment. This allowed Disney to become a massive behemoth that would never have been possible under real free market capitalism. Then these public/private monsters merge and become titanic de facto monopolies with way too much market share and power.
Left-wingers believe that monopolies are because of too much capitalism, but they are demonstrably wrong, since a pure free market entity with zero government backing becoming a monopoly has literally never occurred in all of human history. All of the big monopolies of the past (the railroads, AT&T, etc) were corporatist beasts backed by massive big government funding and collusion, not free market creations.
And so here we are again, one gigantic corporatist entity about to become almost half of all visual entertainment in the world, as eager customers soak up the entertainment just like during the Fall of Rome.
Where will this all end?
Probably nowhere good.
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