Since they failed to acquire Minecraft, Disney went with Plan B — in a HUGE way. Dropping an insane amount on Facebook — $59 billion — the Mouse House looks to gain control of the internet’s second largest search engine (and ALL the data that goes along with it). If you thought the Happiest Place on Earth was powerful before, just wait until they know all about your holiday plans that don’t involve a stop at Walt Disney World.
It isn’t immediately clear where the $59 billion valuation comes from — the media valuations of the social media company have been all over the map, like its stock. CNN had the company pegged as worth 200 billion last year; Forbes puts the number closer to $40 billion. As it turns out, Facebook went for just north of that (sorry, CNN, like the Price Is Right, it’s about who comes closest without going over).
The deal, considering Disneyland, Inc. has assets only worth 55 billion, also includes a hefty chunk of stock in Disneyland for Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook. It also includes the company taking on a whole bunch of new debt, so expect prices to rise at all theme parks in the Mouse Empire to cover it.
While details are still emerging, Disney apparently feels confident that Facebook users won’t pull a mass exodus like MySpace users did after Fox got involved. $59 billion is a considerably more risky check to write than the roughly $500 million Fox had to eat.