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Disney cancels plans for $1 bln campus

STORY: Disney is scrapping plans to relocate 2,000 jobs to Florida citing "changing business conditions" in the state, according to an e-mail to employees seen by Reuters on Thursday.

The announcement came amid a widening legal battle between Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and the entertainment giant.

Disney parks chief Josh D'Amaro said "leadership changes" and "changing business conditions" prompted Disney to reconsider its 2021 plan to relocate employees to a new campus in Lake Nona.

He added:

“Given the considerable changes that have occurred since the announcement of this project, including new leadership and changing business conditions, we have decided not to move forward with construction of the campus."

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According to the Orlando Sentinel, Disney was expected to spend as much as $864 million on the project.

Just a week ago, Disney CEO Bob Iger publicly questioned Florida's interest in the company's continued investment.

DESANTIS: "No corporation is above the law and the people of this state..."

Disney and DeSantis have been locked in an increasingly acrimonious battle that started in March 2022, when Disney's then-CEO, Bob Chapek, criticized legislation in Florida that would limit the discussion of gender identity and sexuality in elementary schools.

DeSantis, who is expected to soon announce that he will seek the 2024 Republican nomination for U.S. president, then moved to strip Disney of its long-standing self-governing power over Walt Disney World in Orlando. The governor argued that "woke Disney" should not receive special treatment in the state.

Disney called the move political retaliation over what should be protected free speech and sued the state last month to have the moves reversed.