Disney Closes Massive $71 Billion Deal With 21st Century Fox

21st Century Fox officially bought by Disney

Some of the most profitable characters and franchises in entertainment including The Simpsons, Deadpool and the X-Men are now under The Walt Disney Company's control after a $71 billion mega-merger with 20th Century Fox was officially completed Wednesday night at midnight.

"This is an extraordinary and historic moment for us—one that will create significant long-term value for our company and our shareholders," Disney CEO Bob Iger said Tuesday. "Combining Disney’s and 21st Century Fox’s wealth of creative content and proven talent creates the pre-eminent global entertainment company, well-positioned to lead in an incredibly dynamic and transformative era."

The Burbank, California based studio is now the proud owner of several production companies, networks and their associated shows, including: Twentieth Century Fox, Fox Animation, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Fox 2000 Pictures, Fox Family, FX Networks, and National Geographic Partners. The deal also brings popular characters like Homer, Marge, Bart and Lisa Simpson, Deadpool and the Avatar franchise into Disney's fold.

Disney also picked up a 30 percent controlling stake in the online streaming platform, Hulu, which was the first such service to snag an Emmy with "The Handmaid's Tale."

Fox's Rupert Murdoch kept many of the network's assets, including the Fox News Channel and Fox Sports. That company will continue to do business under a new name: Fox Corporation.

A big reason for Disney's move to snap up entertainment assets, is the company's desire to launch its own streaming service that would compete with other online platforms like Netflix and Hulu. Disney+ is scheduled to launch later this year. Iger told the Hollywood Reporter that the company was "playing the long game" as studios adjust to viewer's habits and desires for original content.

Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universal rejoiced at the news, as this brings some of the most popular characters, including the X-Men, Deadpool and the Fantastic Four, under Disney's umbrella.

Photos: Getty Images

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