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Disney now owns Star India after $71bn Fox deal

San Francisco, March 20 (IANS) With the closing of the $71 billion deal with 21st Century Fox, The Walt Disney Company now owns Indian TV giant Star, a Mumbai-based media company with dozens of sports and entertainment channels.

The deal became effective on Wednesday morning.

Besides Star India, the acquisition has most of Rupert Murdoch’s former empire including 21st Century Fox’s film production businesses, including Twentieth Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Fox 2000 Pictures, Fox Family and Fox Animation; Fox’s television creative units, Twentieth Century Fox Television, FX Productions and Fox21; FX Networks; National Geographic Partners; Fox Networks Group International.

The deal also makes Disney the owner of Tata Sky and Endemol Shine Group.

The acquisition would give a huge boost to the entertainment giant’s content as it aims to take on streaming services providers such as Netflix, Hulu and Apple’s own TV service that is slated to be unveiled next week.

“This is an extraordinary and historic moment for us — one that will create significant long-term value for our company and our shareholders,” Bob Iger, Chairman-CEO, Disney, said in a statement.

“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.”

Despite the acquisition, Murdoch’s Fox Corp would retain its independence and entities like Fox News and Fox Sports in the US.

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