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'Disney' Articles

Disney Gains Full Control of Hulu Following Deal With Comcast

Disney has slowly been acquiring a larger stake in Hulu, most recently thanks to its acquisition of certain assets owned by 20th Century Fox. According to Variety, today Disney has "full operational control" of Hulu thanks to a new deal with Comcast. The deal's terms state that Comcast will retain its 33 percent ownership interest in Hulu through January 2024, after which time either side can demand that the sale of Comcast's Hulu stake go through. Comcast's NBCUniversal division will continue to license content to Hulu through late 2024. However, the deal includes a few stipulations: as soon as 2020, NBCUniversal will have the right to pull programming that was previously exclusive to Hulu, and by 2022 NBCUniversal will be able to cancel most of its content-licensing agreements with Hulu. Like most other companies, NBCUniversal has plans to launch its own streaming service within the next few years. The Comcast/Disney deal today includes an arrangement where NBCUniversal will be able to keep its shows on Hulu on a nonexclusive basis (with a reduced licensing fee), while also streaming them on its new service. As it stands, Hulu today is a platform with content from a wide array of content providers, which upload episodes of TV shows as early as the day after they air on cable. In the past, Disney has said that it plans to keep Hulu as it is and focus its own properties on the Disney+ streaming service. According to CEO Bob Iger, Disney's full ownership of Hulu will create an "even more compelling" service. “We are now able to completely integrate Hulu

Disney CEO Bob Iger Staying on Apple's Board, Will 'Continue to Monitor' Situation

Disney CEO Bob Iger has sat down with CNBC's David Faber to discuss a wide range of topics, including the company's upcoming streaming service Disney+ and how that will impact his position on Apple's board of directors. Despite the fact that Disney+ will compete with Apple's upcoming TV+ streaming service, Iger said the business of direct-to-consumer television or movies is "still very small" to Apple. At this point, Iger doesn't believe the situation is "problematic," but said it is one he will "continue to monitor." Transcript via CNBC:DAVID FABER: The Apple board. It's another thing I just was curious about. Can you stay on that board? BOB IGER: Well, obviously, when you sit on the board of a publicly traded company, you have to be very mindful or your responsibilities, fiscal responsibilities to the shareholders of that company, and I have been. When the business of direct-to-consumer or television or movies is discussed on the Apple board, I recuse myself from those discussions. There aren't many of them. It's still very small business to Apple. And I'm not at the point where I, you know, I believe it's problematic, but it's something that I have to continue to monitor.Apple named Iger to its board of directors in 2011 under the leadership of CEO Tim Cook. Disney+ will feature both new and existing movies and series from Disney and its brands, including Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel, and National Geographic. It will also offer series from Fox, including all 30 seasons of The Simpsons. The service is slated to launch November 12 for $6.99 per month in the

Disney Offers First Look at Upcoming Disney+ App, Launching in November for $6.99 Per Month [Update: Will Be Available on Apple Devices]

Disney today shared a first look at its upcoming Disney+ streaming service, providing new details on how it will work and what features will be included. The dedicated Disney+ app, which will house Disney+ content, looks rather similar to other streaming television apps, such as Apple's own TV app and Netflix. The screenshot shared by Disney CEO Bob Iger features a dark interface with individual categories for different Disney franchises, including standard Disney fare, Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel, and National Geographic, complete with a "Continue Watching" feature and recommendations. Disney+ content will be available through the Disney+ app on web browsers, smartphones, smart TVs, tablets, and game consoles, essentially everywhere you can watch most streaming services. Deals have already been secured with Roku and Sony for a PS4 version of the app. Individual profiles for each user in the household will be supported, and Disney plans to allow content to be downloaded for offline viewing. Disney will provide TV shows and movies in 4K HDR. When Apple launches its TV+ service with its original content this fall and Disney launches Disney+, the two companies are set to become serious competitors, as both services will offer up exclusive content unavailable on other platforms. Disney+ will house existing Disney content, but Disney is also developing new content for the streaming service. Some of the announced TV shows include "Falcon and Winter Soldier" based on the two Avengers characters, "WandaVision" with Wanda Maximoff and The Vision, a TV show based

Disney Completes $71.3 Billion Acquisition of 21st Century Fox

After first confirming its plan to acquire certain parts of 21st Century Fox in December 2017, today The Walt Disney Company has officially closed its $71.3 billion acquisition of Fox (via The Hollywood Reporter). The deal had to go through various regulatory and antitrust reviews, and Disney saw a bit of competition with Comcast for Fox's assets throughout 2018. Now, Disney owns 20th Century Fox Film and Television studios, the FX stable of networks, National Geographic, and the Fox-related cable and international TV businesses, like India's Star India. The acquisition has also made Disney the majority owner of Hulu thanks to Fox's 30 percent stake in the streaming service, combined with Disney's existing 30 percent stake. Disney is said to also be looking into acquiring WarnerMedia's 10 percent Hulu stake, but will leave the service as it is and focus mainly on its upcoming Disney+ platform instead of altering Hulu. For Disney+, the company now has a huge back catalog of Fox films and TV shows to bolster its not-yet-released streaming service, and potentially entice more customers to join. It's already been confirmed that Disney+ will host "the entire Disney motion picture library," signaling the end of the Disney Vault in the process and allowing subscribers to stream any Disney film they desire. There will also be new original TV shows and films based on Disney properties, like The Mandalorian set in the Star Wars universe, and a Marvel show focused on Tom Hiddleston's Loki. Disney plans for the service to be family-friendly and educational, with shows

Disney+ Streaming Platform to Host Entire Disney Motion Picture Library

Disney CEO Bob Iger has shared additional details on the company's upcoming Disney+ streaming service, which will compete with Apple's forthcoming digital video platform. Speaking to shareholders on Thursday, Iger said the Disney service will offer subscribers "the entire Disney motion picture library," and will signal the end of the so-called "Disney Vault". The service, which I mentioned earlier is going to launch later in the year, is going to combine what we call library product, movies, and television, with a lot of original product as well, movies and television. And at some point fairly soon after launch it will house the entire Disney motion picture library, so the movies that you speak of that traditionally have been kept in a "vault" and brought out basically every few years will be on the service. And then, of course, we're producing a number of original movies and original television shows as well that will be Disney-branded.As Polygon notes, Disney typically makes individual titles available on home video for limited periods of time. Once a run of a particular movie on DVD and Blu-ray has sold through, Disney returns it to the "Vault" until it's released again. Iger also said that newer films will find a home on Disney+ within a year of their theatrical release. "It's going to combine both the old and the new," Iger continued. "All of the films that we're releasing this year, [starting] with Captain Marvel, will also be on the service." Disney+, which will be home to Disney, Star Wars, and Marvel content, is set to launch in "late 2019," more than

Disney CEO's Board Seat 'at Risk' With Apple Planning to Launch Video Service

Apple's upcoming video streaming service and its work on original TV content could spell trouble for Apple board member and Disney CEO Bob Iger, reports Bloomberg, citing the potential for competition between the two companies. Iger is potentially at risk of losing his seat on Apple's board as Apple prepares to launch its streaming TV service. Apple already has more than two dozen original TV shows in the works and has purchased rights to several movies, with all of that content set to be offered via the upcoming service. Image via Bloomberg Apple's service, which it plans to introduce at a March 25 event but launch later in the year, will also incorporate add-on content from other providers like SHOWTIME. Disney, like Apple, is working on its own streaming service, Disney+, and is potentially set to be one of Apple's competitors. Disney+ will offer Disney, Star Wars, and Marvel content (including content made just for Disney+), and like Apple's TV service, it will launch in 2019. Disney also recently acquired Fox's assets, giving it majority control over Hulu and other channels and film franchises. Apple proxy filings that have detailed "arms-length commercial dealings" with Disney have specified that Iger does not have a "material direct or indirect interest" in the deals, but Bloomberg suggests that could change when both companies have launched their streaming services. John Coffee, director of the Center on Corporate Governance at Columbia Law School told Bloomberg that Disney and Apple "might have to recognize that they will become active competitors

Disney in Talks to Acquire WarnerMedia's 10% Stake in Hulu, Resulting in 70% Ownership After Fox Acquisition

Disney is in active discussions with AT&T in an effort to acquire the 10 percent ownership stake that WarnerMedia has in Hulu, according to a report by Variety. Disney already owns a 30 percent stake in Hulu, and is soon to gain Fox's 30 percent stake once regulatory approvals for the Disney/20th Century Fox acquisition go through. This means that if Disney does end up with both AT&T and Fox's stakes, it will own a 70 percent majority of the Hulu streaming service. The last remaining company with a stake is Comcast/NBCUniversal, and in a statement last month NBCU CEO Steve Burke said that "Disney would like to buy us out...I don't think anything's going to happen in the near term." At this point, it's believed that even with a 70 percent control of Hulu, Disney would leave the platform as it is, focused on general entertainment with TV shows and films for subscribers to watch. In contrast, the upcoming Disney+ streaming service will be the platform where customers can get Disney-focused content in a more family-friendly environment. For AT&T, the company is said to be looking to sell its minority stake in Hulu as it prepares to launch its own streaming service in late 2019. This service will be divided into three tiers: "one focused on movies; one with movies plus original programming; and a third tier comprising content from the first two along with WarnerMedia library content and licensed programming." Apple's own entry into the streaming service market will happen soon, as the company plans to introduce its TV service at an event on March 25. While we will

Sphero Discontinues Disney Products Including BB-8 and R2-D2

Sphero, known for its popular BB-8, BB-9E, and R2-D2 iPhone-controlled droids, today confirmed that it is discontinuing all licensed products. In a statement provided to The Verge, Sphero CEO Paul Berberian confirmed that Sphero is cleaning out its remaining licensed inventory and has no plans to produce more. Sphero will no longer make BB-8, BB-9E, R2-D2, Lightning McQueen cars, or talking Spider-Man toys. None of the products are available from the Sphero website anymore, with Sphero instead selling its own Bolt, Mini, and SPRK+ products. The licensed products are now "legacy products" no longer in production, though App Support is set to continue for at least two years. Berberian said that Sphero is discontinuing its Disney partnership because the licensed toy business "required more resources" than it was worth, with sales waning over time after a movie was released."When you launch a toy, your first year's your biggest," he says. "Your second year's way smaller, and your third year gets really tiny." The opposite is true of the company's non-licensed educational robots, he says, which become more popular year after year.With its licensed partnerships at an end, Sphero will now focus on expanding its educational ecosystem with the goal of getting more products into schools. Update: Sphero has provided a statement on its plans not to renew its Disney licenses:At Sphero, our goal is to keep kids learning through the excitement of play. Through our Disney partnership, we were able to develop robots that allowed iconic personalities to come to life. As we

Disney's Upcoming Streaming Service 'Disney+' to Launch in Late 2019

Disney today shared additional details on its planned streaming service, which will be called Disney+. Disney+, which will be home to Disney, Star Wars, and Marvel content, is set to launch in "late 2019," more than two years after it was first announced in August 2017. Along with the name for the service, Disney today also shared details on additional content that's coming to Disney+. Disney is creating a second Star Wars live-action series for the service that's set to go into production next year.The series will follow the adventures of Rebel spy Cassian Andor during the formative years of the Rebellion and prior to the events of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Diego Luna will reprise the role of Andor, which he originated in the 2016 film.Disney is also working on a live-action series that's centered around Loki, which will star Tom Hiddleston, who has played Loki in the Thor series of movies. The two new projects join previously announced content for Disney+ like new stories set in the worlds of Monsters Inc., High School Musical, and Star Wars, which includes "The Mandalorian," a live-action series written by Jon Favreau that is set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order. It's not clear what Disney plans on charging for the Disney+ streaming service, but last year, Iger said that it would be priced "substantially below" Netflix's service. Netflix costs $7.99 for basic SD streaming on one screen and $10.99 for HD streaming on two screens.

Disney Facing 'Resistance' From Turner in Effort to Get TV Rights of 'Star Wars' Films for Streaming Service

It's been nearly one year since Disney announced that it will pull all of its movies from Netflix and launch its own streaming service in late 2019, including both TV shows and movies from Marvel and Star Wars. This week, however, Bloomberg reports that the company is facing troubles with the TV rights to the Star Wars film franchise, dating back to a deal it made with Turner Broadcasting in 2016. Under that agreement, Turner gained the linear basic cable and companion ad-supported on-demand rights to five of the six Star Wars films released between 1977 and 2005 (The Empire Strikes Back to Revenge of the Sith), as well as the new films that began releasing in 2015 (as of now including The Force Awakens, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, The Last Jedi, and Solo: A Star Wars Story). With these rights, which also includes A New Hope rights inked in a deal with 20th Century Fox, Turner has been airing the Star Wars movies on networks like TNT and TBS, and its deal with Disney grants it the ability to keep doing so until 2024. Now that Disney is planning its own dedicated streaming service, however, the company wants these rights back so it can be the sole location for users to find and stream the entire Star Wars canon. To do so, Disney has made a "preliminary inquiry" about regaining the rights, but has "met resistance" from Turner, according to people familiar with the matter. Turner would reportedly want financial considerations and programming to replace the Star Wars films it would lose, but the talks have yet to advance. If Disney doesn't get the rights back, its

Shareholders Approve Disney's $71.3B Acquisition of Fox as Deal Enters Final Stages

One week after Comcast officially bowed out of the bidding war for 21st Century Fox's entertainment assets by ceding to Disney, shareholders of both Fox and Disney have today approved Disney's $71.3 billion acquisition offer for Fox (via The Wall Street Journal). At two separate gatherings this morning in Manhattan, both company's shareholders were said to have "voiced their support" for the acquisition in brief meetings that lasted less than 15 minutes. There are still a few hurdles before Disney officially acquires 21st Century Fox's entertainment assets, mostly related to approval from overseas entities. Specifically, Disney is waiting for the European Union and China to grant approval for the acquisition, as well as "more than a dozen" other international territories. Still, with the United States Justice Department approving the acquisition last month (with one condition for Disney) and now the shareholders voting to approve, it's believed Disney's acquisition of Fox will be done by early 2019. News of Disney's interest in Fox dates back to last December when Disney initially announced its bid to acquire Fox for $52.4 billion in stock. Comcast entered with its own $65 million cash offer for Fox's assets, leading to Disney's increased $71.3 billion cash and stock bid in June. At the time that it bowed out of the running for Fox, Comcast CEO Brian L. Roberts congratulated Disney and its CEO Bob Iger and commended the Murdoch family and Fox "for creating such a desirable and respected company." Disney's plans for Fox line up with its intent to launch a

Comcast Bows Out of Competition for Fox, CEO Congratulates Disney as Bidding War Ends

After a summer of back-and-forth bids between Comcast and Disney for select entertainment assets owned by 21st Century Fox, Comcast today confirmed that it is bowing out of the bidding war for Fox. The company says the move is to instead focus on acquiring European satellite TV provider Sky, another much-sought-after entertainment company that is seeing interest from the likes of Comcast, Fox, and Disney (via Variety). For the purchase of 21st Century Fox, this means that Disney is now expected to finally win the bid and close out the acquisition deal in the near future. The most recent steps in that process saw Disney and Fox agree to a $71.3 billion cash and stock deal, which has now also been approved by the Department of Justice on the condition that Disney sells off 22 regional Fox sports networks. In the announcement confirming that it will not place another bid on Fox, Comcast CEO Brian L. Roberts congratulated Disney and its CEO Bob Iger: “Comcast does not intend to pursue further the acquisition of the Twenty-First Century Fox assets and, instead, will focus on our recommended offer for Sky,” the company said in a statement Thursday. Brian L. Roberts, Comcast chairman-CEO, added: “I’d like to congratulate Bob Iger and the team at Disney and commend the Murdoch family and Fox for creating such a desirable and respected company.” Disney originally announced interest in acquiring 21st Century Fox last December, starting its bidding at $52.4 billion in stock before Comcast forced it to increase the amount and introduce a cash component. Once the

Disney's Acquisition of Fox Approved, but Must Sell Off 22 Regional Fox Sports Networks

After months of scrutiny in an ongoing antitrust case, the United States Department of Justice today granted The Walt Disney Company approval to acquire 21st Century Fox's entertainment assets for $71.3 billion, on one new condition: Disney must divest 22 regional sports networks owned by Fox to an "acceptable" buyer. Removing these networks from the acquisition "would resolve the competitive harm" that has been previously raised in the antitrust lawsuit, the Department said. If Disney did acquire Fox and the 22 regional sports networks, the original complaint argued that the proposed acquisition would "likely result" in multichannel video programming distributors paying higher prices for cable sports programming in the designated markets. This would also inflate television subscription prices in the process, the Department pointed out. Now, Disney has agreed to sell the 22 networks to a buyer that the Justice Department deems "acceptable," rather than continue the ongoing merger investigation. After the acquisition closes, Disney will have 90 days in which to sell all of the designated networks to the buyer, otherwise the court will appoint a trustee to force the sale. This will ensure a competitive market remains in place in each region, Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim explained. “American consumers have benefitted from head-to-head competition between Disney and Fox’s cable sports programming that ultimately has prevented cable television subscription prices from rising even higher,” said Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the

Disney Outbids Comcast for Fox's Assets With $71.3 Billion Cash and Stock Deal

21st Century Fox and the Walt Disney Company today announced a new deal that increases the value of Disney's original December 2017 offer from $28 a share at $52.4 billion to $38 a share at $71.3 billion, with a new cash component. This agreement "is superior to the proposal" from Comcast made earlier this month, according to an unnamed representative speaking for Fox (via The Wall Street Journal). Additionally, the new Fox-Disney deal states that Fox shareholders will be able to receive their consideration "in the form of cash or stock," subject to 50/50 proration. The updated deal comes six months after Disney first announced its intent to acquire certain parts of 21st Century Fox, including Twentieth Century Fox Film and Television Studios, Fox-related cable and international TV businesses, and Fox's 30 percent stake in Hulu, among other assets. Comcast entered as a competitor earlier in June at $35 per share for a total of $65 billion -- an offer that Disney has now beat. Fox has mentioned in the past that talks with Disney were more advanced than any other potential buyer, and it appears that the two companies are trying to work out a deal that values Fox's assets in the wake of Comcast's increased bid. Nothing is finalized yet, however, and if shareholders are thought to be favoring a cash-heavy deal, people familiar with the matter told WSJ that Disney is "in position to inject cash into its offer." Some Fox shareholders might prefer a premium cash offer like the one Comcast is offering, even though the capital gains would be taxable. Other

Comcast Outbids Disney for Fox's Assets With $65 Billion All-Cash Offer

Just a day after a U.S. District Judge approved the upcoming merger between AT&T and Time Warner, Comcast has submitted a bid for 21st Century Fox's TV and film assets, reports CNBC. Comcast has presented Fox with an all-cash offer at $35 per share for a total of $65 billion, which beats out Disney's stock-based $52.4 billion deal. 21st Century Fox has already moved forward on a deal with Disney, but Comcast is aiming to change the minds of Fox's board members. From the letter sent to Fox's board by Brian Roberts, Comcast CEO. So, we were disappointed when 21CF decided to enter into a transaction with The Walt Disney Company, even though we had offered a meaningfully higher price. We have reviewed the publicly available terms of the proposed Disney transaction, as well as the joint proxy statement/prospectus filed with the SEC describing the reasons for the 21CF Board of Directors' decision. In light of yesterday's decision in the AT&T/Time Warner case, the limited time prior to your shareholders' meeting, and our strong continued interest, we are pleased to present a new, all-cash proposal that fully addresses the Board's stated concerns with our prior proposal. Our new proposal offers 21CF shareholders $35.00 per share in cash and 100% of the shares of New Fox after giving effect to its proposed spinoff, providing superior and more certain value as compared to Disney's all-stock offer.Comcast first announced its plans to make a bid on 20th Century Fox, 20th Century Fox Television, several Fox-owned cable channels, and a stake in Hulu back in May, but the

Comcast Confirms Plans to Outbid Disney for Fox's Assets With 'Superior' All-Cash Offer

Last December, The Walt Disney Company outlined plans to acquire 21st Century Fox and a collection of its subsidiaries for $52.4 billion in stock. Those plans have been under regulatory scrutiny for months and have yet to be finalized, and now Comcast has confirmed it is in "advanced stages" of sending Fox a "superior" all-cash offer in hopes of besting Disney's all-share offer (via Bloomberg). Previous reports about Comcast's potential bid also referenced an all-cash deal, and put an estimate above Disney's to as much as $60 billion in cash from Comcast for the designated Fox assets. Comcast's press release today does not disclose an offer amount, but the company says the structure and terms of any offer would be "at least as favorable to Fox shareholders as the Disney offer." Comcast says that its work to finance the offer for some of Fox's assets is "well advanced," and the company has already prepared to file key regulatory statements. Of course, no final decision has yet been made, but analyst Daniel Ives notes that, "If Comcast won these assets from the arms of Disney, it would be a devastating blow to [Disney CEO] Bob Iger." In view of the recent filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission by The Walt Disney Company (“Disney”) and Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. (“Fox”) in preparation for their upcoming shareholder meetings to consider the acquisition of Fox by Disney, Comcast Corporation (“Comcast”) confirms that it is considering, and is in advanced stages of preparing, an offer for the businesses that Fox has agreed to sell to

New 'ESPN+' Streaming Service Launching April 12 for $4.99/Month

ESPN today announced that it will launch its new streaming service, which it's calling "ESPN+", on Thursday, April 12. The service will be integrated into a "re-imagined" version of the ESPN app, and include thousands of live sporting events, original shows and films, exclusive studio programs, and a back catalog of on-demand content. ESPN+ will cost subscribers $4.99 per month ($49.99 per year), and out-of-market packages for both MLB.TV and NHL.TV will be available during respective seasons for an additional $24.99 per month. ESPN said that more details about its new service will come out in the next few days, including more information on the redesigned ESPN app. ESPN did tease some information about the new app, saying it will include sports scores, news, and highlights, authenticated live streaming with "TV everywhere" video, ESPN Radio and podcasts, the ESPN+ service, and more. For ESPN+, the company is promising subscribers more than 180 MLB and NHL games, a year-round boxing schedule, more than 250 MLS games, college sports, PGA events, and more. James Pitaro, ESPN President and Co-Chair, Disney Media Networks, said, “ESPN was built on a belief in innovation and the powerful connection between sports and a remarkable array of fans. That same belief is at the heart of ESPN+ and the new ESPN App. With ESPN+, fans have access to thousands more live games, world class original programs and on-demand sports content, all at a great price. They will get all of that as a part of a completely re-imagined, increasingly personalized ESPN App that provides easy,

Movies Anywhere Expands Digital Retailer Support With New Partner FandangoNOW

Last October, Disney announced that its "Disney Movies Anywhere" service would be expanding to become simply "Movies Anywhere," allowing customers to collect all of their digital films into one centralized location. Previously, the digital retailers supporting the service were iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, VUDU, and Google Play, but today the latest retailer has joined: FandangoNOW. FandangoNOW is the ticketing service company's video on-demand service, and now users who stream and purchase films on FandangoNOW will see their content piped to Movies Anywhere. This means that when using the Movies Anywhere app and website, FandangoNOW customers can access eligible digital movies from studios including Sony Pictures Entertainment, Walt Disney Studios (encompassing Disney, Pixar, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm), Twentieth Century Fox Film, Universal Pictures (including DreamWorks and Illumination Entertainment), and Warner Bros. Once a FandangoNOW account is connected to Movies Anywhere, users can watch their redeemed digital films on multiple supported devices with Movies Anywhere apps, including iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, Amazon Fire devices, Android and Android TV, Chromecast, Roku, and on Mac and PC. According to Fandango CMO Adam Rockmore, a major advantage of FandangoNOW is having "one of the industry's largest collections of 4K Ultra HD movies," but as of yet the service doesn't have an app for Apple TV. “At Fandango, we aim to deliver the best movie experience anytime and anywhere, throughout a movie’s entire life cycle — from theatrical to home

Google Maps Adds 11 Disney Parks to Street View

Google Maps' Street View technology has been updated today to include virtual tours of 11 Disney parks for parents and children to explore in advance of a coming trip, or to rekindle memories of previous visits. We're all about new fantastic points of view. Today Street View is going the distance, from California to Florida, to make Disney part of your world. Be our guest at 11 Disney Parks, and with Street View, anything your heart desires will come to you—castles, rides, attractions to infinity and beyond. The Street View coverage takes in castles, rides and attractions around the various Parks, such as Florida's Magic Kingdom Park and the Avatar-themed world of Pandora in Animal Kingdom. The feature currently only includes parks in the United States, but that may change in future, given Google's recent efforts to expand its coverage of touristic landmarks across Europe and Asia through the service. Google Maps can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link

The Walt Disney Company to Acquire 21st Century Fox Assets Resulting in Majority Control Over Hulu

Following weeks of news coverage about the potential acquisition of certain Fox assets by The Walt Disney Company, today the confirmation of that acquisition has come from Disney with a press release detailing the specific parts of Fox that will now merge into Disney. Notably, Disney has acquired 21st Century Fox, including Twentieth Century Fox Film and Television Studios and Fox-related cable and international TV businesses, for $52.4 billion in stock. The "definitive agreement" between Disney and Fox will still need to face various customary closing conditions, including shareholder approval and other regulatory and antitrust reviews. Movie assets that are now Disney-owned under 21st Century Fox include Fox Searchlight Pictures and Fox 2000, homes of movies like Avatar, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Deadpool, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Shape of Water, and Gone Girl. Disney also now owns Fox's TV production companies including the previously mentioned Twentieth Century Fox Television, as well as FX Productions and Fox21, which brought viewers shows like The Simpsons, This Is Us, and The Americans. On the TV network and streaming side of things, Disney has also acquired FX Networks, National Geographic Partners, Fox Sports Regional Networks, Fox Networks Group International, Star India, Sky plc, Tata Sky, Endemol Shine Group, and most notably Fox's 30 percent stake in Hulu. With this particular asset acquisition, Disney is now a majority shareholder of Hulu. “The acquisition of this stellar collection of businesses from 21st Century Fox reflects the increasing