Disney, Marvel and Universal

Once Disney bought Marvel it was to be expected Universal would be used in the same article more than once. It’s even possible to open it with the three names in the first sentence. They will be linked with each other from now one, something not everybody might like, but unavoidable. Unsurprisingly the three names in one article will refer to the difficulties the new deal of Disney buying Marvel will be for the Universal theme Park. The question of what will happen to Marvel Super Hero Island was one of the first to pop up on many forums. No worries there, as most people already know, Marvel and Universal had signed a contract about 15 years ago where Universal had the sole right to use the characters in a theme Park. This contract has now been inherited by Disney when they bought Marvel and can’t be change. And if it could be change, would they want to? (at this time). The royalties that need to be paid for the use of the licensed characters is a nice bonus for the Walt Disney Company.

But there are other issues that need a lot more of their attention. With the contracts now being in Disney hands they can have a certain control over what is going on in Universal. This includes looking at Universal books and audit them to see if they pay the correct royalties and will have the power to review any Universal promotional materials. Could this be a big advantage for Disney and  Walt Disney World? Could be, although Disney signed an agreement not to use the information the gather from Universal.

The Orlando Sentinel’s “The Daily Disney” has a great indication on how the two companies are dealing with this new “partnership”.

“What an antitrust regulator would be concerned about very clearly is the notion that Disney and Universal would be able to coordinate their activities in the theme-park business,” said Randal Picker, a commercial-law professor at the University of Chicago. “You’d really want to be careful with this.”

In what experts say is likely a bid to pre-empt any such complaints, Disney and Universal recently signed an agreement in which corporate Disney promised not to share with its theme-park division any of the confidential details it might learn about Universal Orlando through the Marvel license. (The Daily Disney)

It’s a good read and gives a good insight in how the impact will be for the two companies and some antitrust issues it could bring up. (Marvel superheroes could pose antitrust risk for Disney, Universal)

Picture copyrights Marvel comics, Universal

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