The Walt Disney Company, commonly known as Walt Disney or simply Disney (/?d?zni/), is an American diversified multinational mass media and entertainment conglomerate, headquartered at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California. It is the world's largest independent media conglomerate in terms of revenue ahead of NBCUniversal and WarnerMedia, which are owned by telecommunications giants Comcast and AT&T respectively.
The company was founded on October 16, 1923 – by brothers Walt and Roy Disney – as the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio, and also operated under the names The Walt Disney Studio and Walt Disney Productions before officially changing its name to Walt Disney Company in 1986. The company grew to establish itself as a leader in the American animation industry before diversifying into live-action film production, television, and theme parks.
Since the 1980s, Disney has created and acquired corporate divisions in order to market more mature content than is typically associated with its flagship family-oriented brands. The company is known for its film studio, Walt Disney Studios, which is today one of the largest and best-known studios in American cinema. Disney's other main divisions are Walt Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products, Disney Media Networks, and Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International. Disney also owns and operates the ABC broadcast network; cable television networks such as Disney Channel, ESPN, A&E Networks, and Freeform; publishing, merchandising, music, and theater divisions; and owns and licenses Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, a group of 14 theme parks around the world.
The company has been a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average since 1991. Mickey Mouse, a cartoon created in 1928, is the signature mascot and emblem for Disney, and one of the world's most recognizable characters.
On December 14, 2017, Disney announced an agreement to merge with 21st Century Fox for $52 billion. The bid was later increased to $71 billion in June 2018 in the wake of the completed acquisition of Time Warner (now WarnerMedia) by AT&T. The newly merged entity will retain the former company's name, meaning The Walt Disney Company will remain as the name of the merged business.
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