by Thom Pratt
When it was announced that Disney would buy assets of 21st Century Fox, many movie fans cheered. Finally, the Fantastic Four and X-Men would join the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Disney may even be able to breathe new life into beleaguered Fox properties like Alien.
But not everyone is happy about it.
Several top Democrats are calling for Congress to investigate the merger to see if The Walt Disney Company will be given too much influence over media.
Key voices on competition and consumer protection fear Disney’s latest deal will only solidify its dominance in entertainment — granting it too many major box-office franchises and too much power over regional sports networks and streaming video services.
“I’m concerned about the impact of this transaction on American consumers,” said Sen. Amy Klobuchar, the top Democratic lawmaker on her chamber’s leading antitrust oversight committee.
Klobuchar said she has already asked the Republican leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee to convene a hearing. With deals of this magnitude, her panel and others like it often do — though GOP leaders have not yet signaled their plans.
Her counterpart in the House, meanwhile, sounded a similarly fearful note.
“Another day, another mega-merger,” said Rep. David Cicilline in a statement last week. “Disney’s proposed purchase of 21st Century Fox threatens to put control of TV, movie, and news content into the hands of a single media giant.”
The Disney-Fox deal isn’t quite done yet. Investors on both sides are claiming that it could take 12-18 months to finalize, and that’s without any objections from the government.
Originally published December 17, 2017 at thekingdominsider.com
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