Writers Guild of America West Blasts Disney-Fox Deal as ‘Relentless Drive to Eliminate Competition’

The Writers Guild of America West has issued a blistering attack on Disney’s proposed $52.4 billion, all-stock deal to acquire 20th Century Fox and other entertainment and sports assets from Rupert Murdoch’s empire.

The WGA West, which reps over 10,000 writers, issued the statement a few hours after the entertainment conglomerates announced the transaction. The guild cited antitrust concerns and said that the six major media conglomerates have exercised control over the entertainment industry for decades, “often at the expense of the creators who power their television and film operations.”

The WGA sounded that theme repeatedly earlier this year during often-acrimonious negotiations on a new master contract, asserting repeatedly that the six companies had generated combined operating profits of $49 billion in 2016.

Here’s the entire statement issued Thursday:

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“In the relentless drive to eliminate competition, big business has an insatiable appetite for consolidation. Disney and Fox have spent decades profiting from the oligopolistic control that the six major media conglomerates have exercised over the entertainment industry, often at the expense of the creators who power their television and film operations. Now, this proposed merger of direct competitors will make matters even worse by substantially increasing the market power of a combined Disney-Fox corporation. The antitrust concerns raised by this deal are obvious and significant. The Writers Guild of America West strongly opposes this merger and will work to ensure our nation’s antitrust laws are enforced.”