Conflict Between Genting, Fox, and Disney Takes New Turns

Not long ago, it was reported that Genting Malaysia was suing 21st Century Fox, with Walt Disney being added as a second respondent. Genting Malaysia claims that Fox reneged on a deal to build a 21st Century Fox-themed theme park at the Resorts World complex in Malaysia.

The only land-based casino in Malaysia is found in Resorts World, which is only about an hour’s drive from the country’s capital, Kuala Lumpur. This is almost certainly the root of the issue.


Walt Disney, known for their involvement in the children’s entertainment industry, declared their intent to acquire 21st Century Fox shortly after the preliminary paperwork was signed. According to Genting Malaysia, Disney exerted undue pressure on Fox to pull out of the transaction. With its own emphasis on family-friendly entertainment, Disney would have been quite reluctant to be connected with a gambling-related business.


The Credit Goes to Disney for This

Seven hotels, multiple food courts, shops, a casino, and other entertainment venues make up the huge Resorts World complex. More than 23 million people from around the world visit the venue annually. The owner, however, thought that adding a theme park based on the well-known Fox brand would help bring in even more customers.


After Fox backed out of the transaction, Genting Malaysia quickly realized that Walt Disney’s desire to acquire 21st Century Fox was likely the driving force behind the unexpected development. During that time, Genting alleges it invested over $750 million on the planned theme park, for which Fox had the intellectual property rights.


Disney and Fox File a Counterclaim

To add some drama to the proceedings, on June 1st, 21st Century Fox and Walt Disney filed a joint counterclaim against Genting Malaysia, alleging that they, too, had suffered damages totaling $46.4 million, in addition to consequential damages, as a result of a Memorandum of Agreement signed between the two parties on June 1st, 2013.


If the scenario was clear cut, with both parties having reneged on a signed and sealed agreement, then the reason for the counterclaim is unclear at this time. As the lawsuit proceeds in the United States, more information is expected to become public and, perhaps, shed light on the situation.

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