Disney Held Talks About Merging with 21st Century Fox

The Walt Disney Company currently owns Lucasfilm, Marvel Studios, ABC, ESPN, and now according to MSNBC, the home of Disney World is considering acquiring 21st Century Fox, which includes FX, Nat Geo and the 20th Century Fox movie studio.

21st Century Fox has been holding talks to sell most of the company to Walt Disney Co., leaving behind a media company tightly focused on news and sports, according to people familiar with the situation. The talks have taken place over the last few weeks and there is no certainty they will lead to a deal. The two sides are not currently talking at this very moment, but given the on again, off again nature of the talks, they could be revisited.

The deal would not include the Fox broadcast network because it could spark a monopoly controversy. As MSNBC points out, “Fox’s sports programming assets in the belief that combining them with ESPN could be seen as anti-competitive from an antitrust standpoint.” As a result, the sale would not include Fox News for Fox’s business channel.

Following the news, Fox’s stock rose by 9%, which cited unidentified insiders. Shares closed at $26.62 on heavy trading volume. Disney stock gained 2% to $100.64 on Monday evening.

The talks have reportedly happened over several weeks, with the motivation being an increase in scale in content and distribution. That said, Disney had previously reported to e talking with several major corporations including Netflix.