The Walt Disney Company has closed a deal to acquire a significant portion of 21st Century Fox Inc. In the nearly $60 billion deal, Disney will get Twentieth Century Fox’s movie and TV studio, cable channels that include sports networks, and international properties. The deal does not include Fox News or Fox Business. Disney assets now include Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel Studios, ABC, ESPN, half of A&E and 30% of Hulu, among other properties. This near-monopolization of media companies by Disney is troubling for a number of reasons.
While the most obvious objections folks may have are concerns over monopolization, and that means the even larger issue is one of message control. Execs at Disney will now have greater power to push their own worldview while excluding others. As Jim Geraghty of National Review notes, “More than a few conservatives contend they see some heavy-handed propagandizing in Disney’s entertainment options. The controversies about ESPN growing more political are well-covered. Julie Gunlock recently laid out the increasingly crass and activist tone on the programs of the Disney Channel and Disney XD. Disney’s CEO, Bob Iger, has grown increasingly vocal about topics like the DACA program, the Paris climate accords, and gun control.”
If conservatives are opposed to Big Government, they should be equally concerned with the dangers posed by Big Business. Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey writes, “Mega-acquisitions like Disney’s and AT&T’s put far too much control over communications and industry into too few hands. We want a free market, but when consolidation reduces a market to one or two entrants, consumers no longer get free choice and dynamic innovation."?