Disney Can’t Handle Competition, Violations Reveal Jarring Pattern

in Disney, Featured

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Disney can’t handle competition, paying over $100 million in penalties for its three offenses.

Bob Iger in front of the Disney+ library on fire
Foreground Image Credit: Thomas Hawk, Flickr

What Are Competition-Related Offences?

Referred to as either price-fixing or anti-competitive practices, these are when Walt Disney World (or any other company) breaks a regulation under jurisdictional non-compete laws.

Engaging in illegal agreements, including bid-rigging, price-fixing, wage-fixing, and anti-poaching rules, is a criminal offense. The specifics of any competition issues that Walt Disney World incurs depend on the jurisdiction where the penalty gets tried.

Bob's Burger Actor gets arrested | Scene from the show | Credit: Disney Represents Citizen Arrest at Disney Park
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CEO Bob Iger is taking the heat, but many issues predate his reign. The concerns focus primarily on topics related to Disney Plus and Disney animation. Most of the focus is on non-compete rules and collusion-related offenses. The startling part is how easily and quietly these issues are resolved.

Disney Streaming Service, TV Shows, and Competition

The proof that Disney can’t handle competition lies in the immortalized records of the Walt Disney World Company breaking those rules. The total fine came to $114,950,000. What’s alarming is that there were only three different citations in this category.

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Credit: Inside the Magic

The Three ‘Little’ Penalties

Walt Disney Company and its subsidiaries, including Marvel Studios, Pixar, and Lucasfilm, all fall under the umbrella of issues with competition offenses. They don’t relate to other lawsuits, like the one in Florida. The three issues were all private federal lawsuits described as follows:

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Credit: Lucasfilm

Lucasfilm Ltd. and Pixar

This issue occurred in 2014 when a price-fixing, anti-competitive practices lawsuit opened against the iconic company. The penalty amount was $9,000,000.

Per official records, the case involved “Allegations that high-tech companies conspired not to hire each other’s employees, thus suppressing salary levels.”

This is from the studio that brings Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and new streaming favorites like Star Wars: Ahsoka.

Blue Sky Studios Scrat
Credit: Blue Sky Studios

Blue Sky Studios

In this case, per the records, “Blue Sky agreed to pay nearly $6 million to settle litigation accusing it of engaging in a ”no-poach” agreement with other studios about hiring animators, thereby depressing pay levels.” The penalty totaled $5,950,000 and directly impacted Disney Animation and its employees.

Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger in front of Cinderella Castle
Credit: Inside the Magic

Walt Disney Company

The biggest of the bunch, the Walt Disney Company itself, paid out a penalty of $100 million for its offense. Per the notes, Walt Disney and its subsidiaries Pixar and Lucasfilm settled the lawsuit. It had accused them of engaging in a no-poach arrangement with other animators. The matter was a private litigation, like the others.

Fight at Disneyland. Disneyland on the left, fight, recorded on video, on the right; shocked Mickey Mouse in the middle
Credit: Inside the Magic

Disney, Competition, and Salary Suppression

The Walt Disney family of companies, with digital properties ranging from its streaming platform to theme parks, is no stranger to competition. These violations show a historical, provable pattern where Walt Disney engages with third parties to suppress or depress wages.

What do you think about the Walt Disney Company incurring these penalties? Share in the comments below!

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