NEW YORK — The Walt Disney Company, an entertainment firm as sprawling as one of its landmark theme parks, has pulled off one of the largest media mergers in history by acquiring the majority of assets from rival 21st Century Fox.
It also brings brands such as FX, National Geographic and “The Simpsons” into the same fold as ESPN and ABC — all part of Disney’s gamble that a beefed-up company will be better equipped to tackle a slew of Silicon Valley giants.
“The acquisition of this stellar collection of businesses from 21st Century Fox reflects the increasing consumer demand for a rich diversity of entertainment experiences that are more compelling, accessible and convenient than ever before,” Iger said in a statement Thursday morning.
There had been reporting that James Murdoch, one of Rupert’s sons and the CEO of 21st Century Fox, would be given a top executive role at Disney as part of the deal, but Thursday brought no definitive word of such a move.
As part of the all-stock deal, Disney will also acquire Fox’s 30 percent stake in Hulu, a group of U.S. cable stations including FX and National Geographic, several powerhouse international satellite channels such as Star India and Sky Italia, and a host of U.S. regional sports outlets.
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