MERGER OF MARVEL WITH DISNEY

INTRODUCTION

It was in the year 2009 when Walt Disney Company (“Disney”) and Marvel Entertainment, Inc. (“Marvel”) entered into a merger agreement with each other. Merger is a legal consolidation of two entities into one entity which can be merged either by way of amalgamation or by formation of new company. The Board of Directors of both the companies approve the combination and seek the shareholder’s approval. After the merger, the acquired company seizes to exist and becomes part of acquiring company. Now, as a law student I was wondering what type of merger could it be? To refresh the memory, let me take you back to types of mergers viz Horizontal, Vertical, conglomerate and Congeneric.

A horizontal merger happens between two companies who are selling similar products in same market and have a direct competition along with same product line & market. The main objective is to benefit from economies of scale, reduce competition and achieve monopoly & control in the said market. A vertical merger happens between two companies who are in the same industry but at different stages of production process. A conglomerate merger happens between two companies that have no common business area. The business of both the companies are totally unrelated to each other. Finally, a congeneric merger is one where the two companies are related to each other in terms of customer groups, technology etc. In short, both Disney and Marvel are involved in a very broad range of products and services, but both companies center their business models on intangibles, particularly characters[1].

ANALYSIS

According to some experts, both Marvel & Disney compete for the attention of the same market. They are of the view that Disney has repeatedly tried and failed to capture the young male market share with their characters but succeeded with young women. On the other hand, Marvel had strong hold on young males and weakness towards female in the comic book realm. Plus, both the companies require a strong VFX to attract its audience, so a merger would benefit both. Disney acquired ownership of marvel through a 4.2 billion dollars acquisition agreement along with marvel’s 5000 characters.

The GAME CHANGER

It’s been 10 years since Disney bought Marvel Entertainment – a move that changed not only Marvel but also the entertainment industry as well[2]. As of 2021, Marvel is one of the biggest names in film and comics, all thanks to the Marvel Cinematic Universe(also known as MCU). Earlier. Marvel had to produce movies with the help of other studios and not all were successful.  As all the marvel fans know, MCU was started with Jon Favreau’s Iron Man in 2008. However, the first movie distributed by Disney was  The Avengers, in 2012. Marvel took more risks with less popular characters like Guardians of the Galaxy and it worked. Disney took marvel to streaming shows in Netflix like like  DaredevilJessica Jones, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D

With the arrival of Disney+, the studio is now working on various Marvel TV series that will connect (for real, this time) with the films in the MCU like Agent Carter, Loki, Falcon& winter soldier, WandaVision which will only expand the MCU. The acquisition of Marvel by Disney showed the power and influence that the Mouse House has in the entertainment industry, and how it can make something like a big, interconnected superhero universe a hit, and one that expands to other media. With the MCU now preparing for another wave of content not only in film but streaming too, it’s yet to be seen if Disney will maintain that success and popularity for another 10 years[3].

Due to the merger of Marvel & Disney, both the companies have reduced competition and the road ahead looks smooth. The business experience of both the companies will help each other in reaching new customers plus the technological labour would be of great help to both.

CONCLUSION

After coming to know that Marvel merged with Disney and after that both the company have given a lot of memories to its viewers, I am sure in next 10 years these two will eliminate all competitors from the market and become a monopoly.


[1] Marvel and Disney: A Merger with Character – Illinois Business Law Journal visited on 12-06-2021 at 16:13hrs.

[2] Adrienne Tyler-Disney Bought Marvel 10 Years Ago: How It Changed Everything, Disney Bought Marvel 10 Years Ago: How It Changed Everything (screenrant.com) visited on 12-06-2021 at 17:06hrs.

[3] IBID.

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