X-Men fans might be happy about the news that Disney plans to buy a large portion of 21st Century Fox, but the Democrats on the Senate and House antitrust subcommittees aren’t as thrilled.
According to Variety, top Democrats have voice their concerns about the merger, which could potentially violate antitrust laws.
“I’m concerned about the impact of this transaction on American consumers,” said Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary antitrust committee. She also commented that this merger was “another industry-changing merger, which would have major implications in television, film, and media.”
Klobucher has reportedly asked Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who chair the antitrust subcommittee and the Judiciary Committee, respectively, to schedule a hearing on the matter.
Representative David Cicilline (D-R.I.) called for his committee, the House Judiciary’s antitrust subcommittee, to take a closer look at the deal as well. “Disney’s proposed purchase of 21st Century Fox threatens to put control of TV, movie, and news content into the hands of a single media giant,” he said.
“If it’s approved,” he continued, “this merger could allow Disney to limit what consumers can watch and increase their cable bills. Disney will gain more than 300 channels, 22 regional sports networks, control over Hulu, and a significant portion of Roku.”
Since Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm in 2012, the company has already emerged as a leading, monolithic force in American entertainment. While that can be exciting — it’s thrilling to see so many compelling characters and worlds rubbing shoulders with each other — it can also be stifling.
It’s hard to compete in the genre movie sphere if you’re not the MCU or Star Wars, and if this merger goes through that problem could get much worse.