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Malaysian resort company sues Disney, Fox over theme park

November 27, 2018

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2010, file photo, chairman of the Malaysian Genting Group developer Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay cuts a ceremonial ribbon to open a casino in Singapore. The Genting Group is seeking at least $1 billion in damages from Walt Disney Co. and Fox Entertainment Group for alleged breach of contract related to a theme park. Genting Malaysia Bhd said in a statement, Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018, that it filed the lawsuit in the Central California District Court on Monday citing damages from Fox’s withdrawal from the project. (AP Photo/Joan Leong, File)

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Resort developer Genting Malaysia has filed a lawsuit in California seeking at least $1 billion in damages from Walt Disney Co. and Fox Entertainment Group for alleged breach of contract related to a theme park, the company said Tuesday.

The lawsuit filed Monday in the Central California District Court cites damages from Fox’s withdrawal from an agreement set in 2013 to license its intellectual property for a Fox World theme park in Resort World Genting, a sprawling facility perched on a mountain in Malaysia.

The theme park would have been Fox’s first.

According to Genting’s complaint, Fox issued a “notice of default” aimed at ending the agreement.

Despite disagreements over the specific terms of the deal, Genting said in a statement that Fox had no grounds to pull out. The complaint also alleges that Disney and 21st Century Fox interfered with the contract and caused Twentieth Century Fox Licensing and Merchandising, part of Fox Entertainment, to breach it.

Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox raised issues because Genting’s resort includes a casino, which conflicts with Disney’s stance against gambling.

Genting says it has invested nearly $180 million in the Fox project. Its most recent quarterly report said the group was focused on developing its resort and on preparing to roll out the “highly anticipated 20th Century Fox World Theme Park” as well as another attraction, the Skytropolis indoor theme park.

The opening of the Fox themed park had been planned for the first half of 2019.

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