Disney Fights the UK Government

Credit: Disney

Disney is challenging a proposed new law in the United Kingdom. And no, it isn’t about LGBTQ+ representation, content, or debates in their educational system.

It’s about money.

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Proposed Law

The newly drafted law aims to protect consumers against streaming companies that “trap” customers into paying by automatically renewing their subscriptions without proper notice.

Disney+ screen logo

Credit: Disney

The new proposed law would require streaming companies to send reminder notices to customers every six months to ensure they are aware they are still subscribed and will continue to be billed for the service. It also requires a 14-day window for subscribers to withdraw or cancel their subscriptions without being charged.

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Disney’s Position

Disney claims that the United Kingdom is trying to “micro-manage” how subscription streamers interact with their customers. Disney has pushed back on both aspects of the proposed law and sent a message to the Lords Communications and Digital Committee arguing, “The combination of the market imperatives, consumer preferences, our practice of providing timely and clear notice of the recurring fee and the ease of terminating the agreement should obviate the need for mandated renewal notices.”

walt disney burbank building

Credit: Disney

Disney also believes that customers will subscribe to Disney Plus, watch it for 14 days, and then cancel, enjoying content for two weeks without paying Disney anything. Disney said it already provides “timely and clear notice” of a recurring fee and makes it easier for users to cancel their contract than subscribe in the first place. They also argue that this would force Disney to raise prices to offset the customers who aren’t paying.

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Disney requested that the United Kingdom government limit reminder notices to sectors with a track record of “attempting to trap their consumers.”


Credit: Disney

It will be interesting to see if this makes it into official law in the United Kingdom. If so, could the United States look into passing similar legislation that may negatively impact streaming services?

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About Steven Wilk

Steven has a complicated relationship with Disney. As a child, he visited Walt Disney World every few years with his family. But he never understood why kids his age (and older) were so scared of Snow White or Alien Encounter. He is a former participant of the Disney College Program (left early…long story), and he also previously worked in Children’s publishing, where he adapted multiple Disney movies and TV shows. He has many controversial opinions about Disney…like having a positive view of Michael Eisner, believing Return of the Jedi is superior to The Empire Strikes Back, and that Toy Story Land and Galaxy’s Edge should have never been built (at least not at Hollywood Studios). Every year for the past two decades, Steven has visited either Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Aulani or went on a Disney Cruise. He’s happy to share any and all knowledge of the Disney destinations (and he likes using parenthesis a lot…as well as ellipses…)