The Illusion of Choice


The vertical integration of Disney purchasing 21st Century Fox connects well with Holt’s Empires of Entertainment.  Much like when Regan left office in 1989, today’s media industry is adapting through purchases and mergers.  Though mergers and purchases are frequent in today’s media environment, they are not always beneficial to the industry as a whole.  

Disney made an offer to 21st Century Fox, but Comcast knew that this could threaten their business and create an extremely powerful competitor in the industry.  Comcast made a bid to try and stop the convergence of the two studios, but it was to no avail. Much like the merger of Time inc. and Warner Brothers in 1990 this has the potential to skyrocket Disney to the top of the Media Industry. When the merger occurred it lent opportunity for Time Warner to focus on assets and potential.  Likewise this allows Disney to focus on other aspects of the industry and try to diversify their company and its services.


Disney has been an industry leader as a studio, and it produces movies that are extremely successful.  This conglomeration gives Disney the opportunity to experiment with other services such as Disney+. Disney is looking to launch a streaming service like Netflix. Due to the merger they have the freedom to enter a market with competitors such as Amazon, Netflix, and HBO.  Disney+ is just one way that Disney leveraged their resources to create greater value. 

This is an example of synergy being created within the company by way of merger. The freedom created by this allows Disney to focus on growing and creating new services. Without the acquisition and vertical integration of 21st Century Fox, Disney might have had hesitations about leaping into the streaming service industry.  The freedom granted by this merger has created synergy within Disney and has given them the opportunity to reach their potential.



Holt, Jennifer. Empires of Entertainment: Media Industries and the Politics of Deregulation, 1980-1996. Rutgers University Press, 2011

Schwartz, Matthew S. “Disney Officially Owns 21st Century Fox.” NPR, NPR, 20 Mar. 2019,

Barnes, Brooks, and John Koblin. “Disney Plus Streaming Service Is Unveiled to Hollywood Fanfare.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 11 Apr. 2019,

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