Disney Acquires Marvel for $4B


Spider-Man, Spider-Man, now does whatever Disney says he can.

Disney (s DIS) announced today that it is acquiring superhero factory Marvel Entertainment (s MVL) for $4 billion in cash and stock. The move gives the mouse house ownership of more than 5,000 Marvel characters including Spider-Man, Iron Man and Batroc the Leaper. (All right, that last one was just for the nerds and probably won’t be getting his own half hour on the Disney Channel anytime soon.)

Marvel doesn’t have much in the way of NewTeeVee-related efforts other than its motion comics, though those could find a new audience and life with the inclusion of Mickey Mouse and his friends. Marvel isn’t shy about online video, as it runs old cartoons, TV shows and some original video content on its site and syndicated through partners like Hulu (which is partly owned by Disney). When I’ve previously spoken with Ira Rubenstein, Marvel’s executive vice president, global digital media group, he’s indicated his interest in generating enough content to establish Marvel’s own IPTV channel. Having Disney onboard certainly won’t hurt those efforts.