The Walt Disney Co. announced today that it is acquiring Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion–to be paid for with 60% in cash and 40% in stock .
With a stable that includes Spider-Man, the X-Men and Iron Man, among many others, the acquisition fills a gap for Disney–popular characters that appeal to boys.
All of the current deals that Marvel has with other studios–Twentieth Century Fox has the "x-Men" franchise, for example –will stay in place at least until they expire.
Disney also hopes to exploit the characters with rides and such at its theme park, and in various other consumer products.
Another popular group of comic-book characters–DC, which includes Batman and Superman–has long been part rival media conglomerate Time Warner.
For the New York Times’ news report of the deal, click here.