Fox Employees on High Alert as Disney Acquisition Looms

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The Disney/Fox merger has been one of the most scrutinized business deals of the last year. The $71.3 billion deal will have a major impact on the way Hollywood operates in the future, but it's going to have a more immediate impact on employees of 21st Century Fox. In 2018, Fox employed 22,000 workers across the globe.

The general emotion at Fox is tense over the pending "D-Day," when Disney officially buys out the studio and its related assets. 4,000 jobs are expected to be rendered moot by the merger, although some in Hollywood believe that number could increase to 10,000 over time.

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"It is uniquely interesting, and complex, because it exemplifies this juncture in the way content is delivered and structural changes in the industry," said Jonathan Barnett, director of USC's Media, Entertainment and Technology Law Program to The Hollywood Reporter.

Analysts are predicting that many well-connected executives will soon be vying for the same positions, and that layoffs could hit the overlapping marketing, distribution and home entertainment divisions of Fox particularly hard.

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"There will be bloodshed over time," said industry analyst Rich Greenfield. "This is virgin territory for Disney, which has never done a mass integration."

Greenfield noted that none of the other acquisitions engineered by Disney CEO Bob Iger, including Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Entertainment and Lucasfilm, resulted in major layoffs. However, the Fox merger will be the largest purchase the company has yet made.

The final days of the merger are expected soon, potentially by the end of February.

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