Is Disney too powerful? | The Tylt
It began with Miramax. Then came ABC and ESPN. Soon, 21st Century Fox was added to the mix. And now, the Walt Disney Company, one of the world's biggest entertainment conglomerates, is taking over full decision-making power at Hulu. Critics were already wary of Disney becoming a full-fledged monopoly after its Fox acquisition, and its decision to take full control over Hulu leaves some economists sweating. But others say Disney is still operating within guidelines and is no where close to acting as a monopoly. Does Disney have too much power?
Is Disney too powerful?
After Disney acquired 21st Century Fox for $71.3 billion in 2019, ING wrote that the company could be considered "the most powerful movie studio that has ever existed."
To put it in Marvel-speak, think of Fox as the latest Stone in Disney’s Gauntlet.
When it comes to franchises, Disney controls all of Pixar, the Marvel universe, the Star Wars universe, the X-men universe, and more. Disney also plans to launch its own streaming service in late 2019, which will include box-office behemoths like "Avengers: Endgame," classics from the Disney Vault, as well as original content centered around fan-favorite characters like Marvel's Loki.
Consumers and economists alike held reservations about Disney's Fox acquisition, and its assertion over Hulu makes the coming "streaming wars" even more nerve-wracking. For some, Disney holds a lot of cards when it comes to content, and customers will likely have no choice but to purchase a Disney Plus subscription if they want to access movies and shows they've grown accustomed to having via Netflix.
But others say there's no need to worry; Disney is not even close to being considered a monopoly. One user on Reddit attempts to quell concerns:
A monopoly is where there is one seller on the market, holding almost complete control over prices and provision of goods and/or services. Just based on that definition, Disney is not anywhere close to that.
And when it comes to the power Disney holds before it broaches the monopoly conversation, Reddit's DeusXVentus says competition will remain healthy within the streaming market.
The worst [Disney] can do is raise streaming service prices up to restrictive and exclusive levels, which will only serve to kneecap their performance with competitors offering similar things for lower prices (albeit not with Disney's full library) and of course, the avenue that shalt not be spoken of...I don't think we have any serious concerns to worry about now, especially not concerns of great, sinister monopoly power.
Furthermore, plenty of fans are excited to see what Disney does with its Disney Plus streaming service in conjunction with Hulu. Disney rarely fails to produce exciting content, and having that content available for immediate streaming is tantalizing for many.