NEW YORK - Disney is buying a large part of the Murdoch family's 21st Century Fox in a deal valued $52.4 billion, including film and television studios, cable and international TV businesses, as it tries to meet competition from technology companies in the entertainment business.

The purchase will bring together storied franchises such as 21st Century Fox's "X-Men" and "The Simpsons" with Disney's "Star Wars" movies and its Disney Pixar films. Before Disney completes the buyout, 21st Century Fox will separate the Fox Broadcasting network and stations, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, FS1, FS2 and Big Ten Network into a new publicly traded media company that will be spun off to its shareholders. 

The acquisition will break up Rupert Murdoch's massive media empire, which spanned assets from pay-TV channels such as National Geographic to the Twentieth Century Fox Film studio. The deal comes amid shifting consumer trends in the media industry, accelerating an "arms race" for content that has been jumpstarted by Netflix and Amazon, which are siphoning off consumers from traditional media companies.

"The acquisition of this stellar collection of businesses from 21st Century Fox reflects the increasing consumer demand for a rich diversity of entertainment experiences that are more compelling, accessible and convenient than ever before," Robert A. Iger, CEO of Disney, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Fox and Disney are among the big media businesses that have sought to offer a rival to Netflix. They are among the co-owners of the Hulu streaming network, whose "Handmaid's Tale" won the Emmy award this year for best dramatic series. 

Hulu, which is also co-owned by Comcast and Time Warner, and Disney's other video services will be able to offer "more appealing and engaging experiences" with the purchase of Fox's entertainment assets, Disney said in a Thursday statement.