Disney’s Iron Grip


Sruthi Ramesh

Since its conception, The Walt Disney Company has bought out many other companies, adding them to its empire.

Emily Bohn, Reporter

At the time of the 2019 announcement of Disney’s new streaming platform, many were shocked to see not only the sheer amount of properties owned by Disney Inc. (though the site encompasses a small number of said properties), but the fact that Disney was creating a second service separate to the one that they already owned, Hulu.

It’s ironic, the way this image garnered the exact opposite response than was meant to: disgust rather than praise. It truly put into perspective the grip that Disney has on today’s entertainment, as they have a stake in every modern genre of media. In fact, Disney actually had to sell their property of Fox Sports to Diamond Sports Group, as their purchase of it (along with that of 20th Century Fox in 2018) would give them something in the sports industry that is truly terrifying: a monopoly.

Having a monopoly is the practice of owning every source/company in an industry, and it’s illegal in the United States for good reason. The law took effect after the supreme court ruled John D. Rockefeller a holder of a monopoly in the petroleum industry, forcing him to divide Standard Oil into 33 companies, two of which are still around: Chevron and ExxonMobil. 

The main issue with monopolies is their hold on the consumer. The incentive to keep prices low is bred through competition. When there is no competition, prices will rise indefinitely, fueled by the greed of the corporation. A good example of this is in “Newsies”, when the newsies are forced to pay extra for papers to sell without the ability to sell them at a higher price. Ironically, “Newsies” is actually a property of Disney’s, along with Wall-E, Star Wars, and Marvel. Many of the heartwarming underdog stories that inspire millions are bred through 

With Disney’s large stake in the journalism industry (including ownership of Fox News, ABC, Sky TV, History, National Geographic, and ESPN) they have the ability to push any given narrative if they so please. In fact, current CEO Bob Chapek has made a handful of donations totaling over $11,000 to former president Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and the Republican National Committee.

In conclusion, Disney’s hold on not only the entertainment industry but a number of others is disturbing; and one should be wary of the content they are consuming. For instance, both conservative network Fox News and widely moderate network ABC are both properties of Disney. From GoPro to TitleMax to about a dozen real estate companies, the Disney brand has a stake in more than you think; which begs the question…

How much of your life is owned by Disney?