So Disney just bought Marvel Comics for $4 billion in cash and shares, and I’ve spent the last five hours reading variations on “My Childhood, It’s Ruined” on every social network site I visit.
People. This may not be as bad as it looks.
Think about some of the recent mergers you’ve heard of. I know, there are a lot of bad examples, and part of this comes from bad press. Now, I want to turn your attention to some other, lesser-known acquisitions that actuall turned out fairly well.
HP gobbled up Compaq and now what we have is a fairly mixed bag of different looking computers for different prices that all do the same things. HP was decent before, and Compaq had its issues, so I’d say Compaq won out by sticking around as a sub-brand.
Rogers purchased Fido a while ago. NO ONE noticed. And I mean no one. The companies are still being run as separate in every respect, with separate branding and focus, and outside of having access to each others’ networks, there’s been no major changes.
And then you have Acer acquiring eMachines and Gateway over the past while. Four years ago, Acer computers sucked. They were horrible. But with Gateway’s great design paradigm, eMachines’ expertise, and Acer’s awesome screens, the company has started to close in on its nearest competitor, Dell. That’s saying something.
So which kind of merger will Marvel and Disney be? As I’ve just had pointed out to me, Disney is good at making things generic, which would kill Marvel and its innovative spirit and presense. However, considering Disney’s waning market force, its own change of direction lately… Well, for all we know, Marvel may end up getting the lion’s share, using Disney’s marketing abilities, its ability to franchise just about anything from nothing – well, we may just be seeing the rebirth of Marvel and Disney both as a totally new media empire.
But who’s to know? Until one or both start making moves powered by the faculties of the other company, we won’t actually see any loss or benefit from this, outside of Disney shelling Four Billion dollars back into the economy through the buy.
Wait and see. It’s the only way to go, at this point. I, for one, hope Marvel wins its own strong place without destroying Disney – more the way Rogers/Fido did, because I feel that’s the best strategy for diverse, sustainable business.