Ask the Department of Justice to block Disney´s acquisition of 20th Century Fox assets.

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It has recently been confirmed that the 21st Century Fox Company has started a deal with  the Walt Disney Company which would result in Fox selling many of its assets to Disney, apparently due to the fact that the former is not getting the level of profit they expect to get from these assets.

 But everyone who thinks it is a done deal KNOW THIS: The deal has not  been approved yet by the Department of Justice Antitrust Division, the European Commission Directorate General for Competition, the Competition and Markets Authorities in the  United Kingdom,  or by the rest of the international anti-trust regulators, WHICH HAVE THE POWER TO BLOCK THE DEAL AND PREVENT IT FROM HAPPENING.

So if you are against Disney owning all this Fox properties and moving closer into becoming a monopoly, be hopeful, and consider this petition.

The U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division is committed to promoting economic competition and enforcing antitrust laws and principles, the same as many international competition regulators like the European Commission Directorate General for Competition and the.

Disney´s proposed acquisition of the 21st Century Fox Company is what ´s known as an horizontal merger, meaning both companies deal with the same type of service at the same stage of the supply chain. Horizontal mergers get intense scrutiny from the Department of Justice, because they are likely to break Antitrust laws. Disney and the 21st Century Fox company are both multinational mass media conglomerates. Since Disney already is the most powerful media corporation, at least in the United States, and the 21st Century Fox company is at least the fourth most powerful media corporation just behind NBC/Universal and Time Warner, then the proposed acquisition would seriously reduce economic competition and increase Disney´s  market power by a significant percentage. That qualifies as the practice that all Competition Regulators work to eradicate.

That is why this deal will likely concern the Department of Justice Antitrust Division.

Since the deal is not yet approved by all anti-trust regulatory entities, there is still hope it wont go through, so when considering protesting said deal it is important to consider two main things:

  1.  The huge historical importance 20th Century Fox holds for the film industry. Being one of the major film studios in the United States since the Golden Age of Hollywood, a group called the "Big Five" at that time, it has always been unique for taking risks other companies dare not to take. This was evident in 1974, when Disney, as you would expect, rejected George Lucas´ "Star Wars" project refusing to finance it. 20th Century Fox was the only studio that gave George Lucas a chance to do what at that time seemed like a ridiculous and unprofitable idea: "Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope". They did risk to finance it. This is evident today, when you compare the kind of projects that are green-lit by Fox and Fox Searchlight with the ones Disney makes. From great independent movies like "12 years a Slave", "The Tree of Life", "He named me Malala", "Mistress America", "The Birth of a Nation" or "The Grand Budapest Hotel" to blockbusters that refuse to follow an established formula and risk failing at the box office like "Deadpool", "War for the Planet of the Apes", the R rated "Logan" and now "The New Mutants", which even takes the risk of not using the name X Men on the title to attract audiences. You can see that kind of risk taking also in the present day with films like the unusual fantasy "The Shape of Water", the political discussion- igniting "The Post" and the LGBT romantic comedy "Love, Simon", which is being widely considered as a groundbreaking take on the "coming of age" and romantic comedy sub-genres, being the first to introduce to those sub-genres a gay teen romance. 20th Century Fox is not afraid of being provocative or trusting the vision of the film makers they work with. If suddenly Disney ended up owning 20th Century Fox, with Disney being a calculating company that seeks the most profitable and least risky projects, then it would be logical to expect that Fox´s way of doing business would probably end.
  2. To have Disney owning 20th Century Fox is to allow Disney to take another step into becoming the monopoly of the film industry. If the deal was approved, not only would Disney own the rights to a huge amount of movie and television franchises that would almost double their current commercial offer while removing Fox, one of its top competitors, from the competition, which is a monopolistic move in itself. They would also increase their movie catalogue at least by 90% more than what they have right now without the Fox properties, and since Disney is planning to launch a new streaming service to compete on that area, doubling its catalogue with the purchase of Fox to increase its offer is also a monopolistic move that undermines competition. Theaters, distribution companies and film production companies are already publicly noting how Disney intends to subdue them like they did to  ArcLight Cinemas by asking them to remove Quentin Tarantino´s "The Hateful 8"  from their Cinerama Dome, even as the theater already had a deal to show the movie for two weeks, so they could show Disney´s "Star Wars Episode VII The Force Awakens" there exclusively instead for the entire holiday season (Internet Reference last checked April 16th 2018, as reported for Variety.com by Margaret Lenker: Quentin Tarantino Accuses Disney of ‘Extortion’ Over ‘Star Wars’ Booking), and now making special demands for the screenings of "Star Wars Episode VIII The Last Jedi", for which they are demanding a percentage of the screening profits higher than the one usually agreed and accepted between movie theaters and distribution companies (Internet Reference last checked April 16th 2018 as reported for the Wall Street Journal.com by Erich Schwartzel: Disney Lays Down the Law for Theaters on ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Exhibitors say the studio’s top-secret terms are the most onerous they have ever seen ). Some information that supports the case about the Disney deal significantly reducing competition:  Fox and Disney compete directly every year on the following categories: Computer Animated movies, Superhero movies, Action/Adventure movies and Science Fiction/Fantasy movies. If Disney owned Fox, not only would they loose between one third and one fourth of their competition depending on the category, but they would increase their offer against their remaining competitors by at least 40%. Disney shouldn´t monopolize the film industry, not just because it is an economic abuse that destroys fair competition, but also because in doing so, it would be silencing many voices that differ from their way of producing movies, so those voices would never be heard by audiences. 20th Century Fox allows lots of bold and daring visions to be realized and shared with audiences, just like other production companies and studios make different types of visions possible, and if Disney finally becomes a monopoly, those visions will never get to be seen by audiences, and instead, the only thing audiences will be able to watch will be Disney movies.

 

To 20th Century Fox:

I beg you to stop this deal. The majority of the public likes what you are doing with your assets and will continue to support you, and because of this there is no need to forsake those assets, there is a financially promising future for those.

Lucasfilm was sold to Disney, and now the "Star Wars" movies are making billions of dollars at the box office, and the distribution company that earns the profit for that is Disney. Imagine what could have happened if Lucasfilm hadn´t been sold to Disney. The distribution company that would now be earning the profit would probably be 20th century Fox. Please, don´t make that same mistake, 20th century Fox has a very promising future with the success of movies like "Avatar", "Murder on the Orient Express", "Logan" and "Deadpool" : All of those have not only recovered their budgets´ worth in revenue, but they have made great profit at the box office, with "Avatar" still being, worldwide, the highest grossing movie of all time, and with "Murder on the Orient Express", "Logan" and "Deadpool" having opted for relatively low budgets in favor of handing creative freedom to its directors, thus making profit on a higher percentage as compared to their investment, than big budget films. All of those four have already gotten award nominations, and in the case of the last two mentioned, they achieved major-category-Award nominations being based on comic books, something the rest of the film studios haven´t achieved; "Deadpool" was nominated for Best Motion Picture Comedy or Musical at the 2016 Golden Globes, and "Logan" is the first superhero movie to be nominated in the Best Adapted Screenplay category, a major one, for the 2017 Academy Awards, giving 20th Century Fox the reputation of being the best and most intellectually innovative film studio at the superhero "sub-genre" in terms of cinematographic quality. These 4 financially successful movies already have sequels on the works, with a very strong fan support behind them. Adding that to the expanding "X Men" series and planned "The New Mutants" trilogy, and considering "Avatar" still is the highest grossing movie worldwide, there is a potential for 20th Century Fox to make great profit for many years to come. I´m sure they wouldn´t like to see Disney being the one that makes profit of those assets while it could be 20th Century Fox. I say to 20th century Fox, we are on your side and won´t let you down, so don´t let us down.

To All Filmmakers:

In the name of film history and with the purpose  of preserving a contrasting company that can allow filmmakers and audiences to choose between different ways of film making instead of a monopoly, I beg filmmakers to raise their voice and do anything they can to allow this alternative space to continue to exist.

Some of you already have raised your voices against this unfair deal. For example, the Writers Guild of America West has said in a statement that:

“ In the relentless drive to eliminate competition, big business has an insatiable appetite for consolidation. Disney and Fox have spent decades profiting from the oligopolistic control that the six major media conglomerates have exercised over the entertainment industry, often at the expense of the creators who power their television and film operations. Now, this proposed merger of direct competitors will make matters even worse by substantially increasing the market power of a combined Disney-Fox corporation. The antitrust concerns raised by this deal are obvious and significant. The Writers Guild of America West strongly opposes this merger and will work to ensure our nation’s antitrust laws are enforced. ”  As released by www.wga.org last checked May 26th 2018:WGAW Opposes Disney-Fox Deal


Or Thomas Rothman, chairman of the Sony Motion Picture Group, who said that:

"Consolidation under giant corporate mandates rarely promotes creative risk-taking. And in the long run, it is always a challenge to compete against horizontal monopolistic power." As reported by Pamela McClintock for The Hollywood Reporter.com, last checked May 26th 2018: Box Office: Get Ready for Hollywood's Shrinking Studio System


Ryan Murphy, who has worked as a TV producer for Fox for almost 15 years, has decided to leave the network and work for Netflix instead, and he stated that the Disney acquisition of Fox was the main reason for leaving, "arguing that his freedom under Disney might be severely limited in creating new, risk-taking content".

You can use whatever platform you have to make people aware of the importance of fighting Disney´s abuses, and most important, to make your voices heard about the importance of preserving artistic diversity by keeping an alternative and culturally important movie studio like 20th Century Fox.

To Everyone:

And to everyone who cares about not having the same type of movie that Disney makes to please sign the petition and share it.

Let´s convince Fox that people don´t want 20th century Fox to be in Disney´s hands.

Let´s get the media´s attention so this deal doesn´t pass unnoticed by everyone.

Lets get the entertainment community to speak up against the Disney monopolization of the industry

Lets put pressure on the Department of Justice and on all competition regulators so they don't allow this abuse.

 

Thank you ! ! ! !



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