U.S. gives Disney-Fox deal antitrust approval

Disney-Fox deal wins antitrust approval Comcast considers bidding higher

Disney-Fox deal wins antitrust approval Comcast considers bidding higher

Disney will have at least 90 days from the date of closing the transaction to complete the sale of the RSNs, which have 61 million subscribers.

"American consumers have benefited from head-to-head competition between Disney and Fox's cable sports programming that ultimately has prevented cable television subscription prices from rising even higher", Makan Delrahim, head of the Justice Department's antitrust division, said in a statement. A week ago, Disney returned with an amended agreement with Fox for $71.3 billion, split evenly between cash and stock.

The approval requires the sale of Fox's regional sports networks in the USA, due to competition concerns, the Justice Department's antitrust division said. The DOJ's approval of the Disney/Fox deal gives Fox another reason to reject any further bids from Comcast.

At stake are such Fox assets as FX Networks, National Geographic, a 30-percent stake in Hulu, a 31.9-percent stake in United Kingdom pay-TV and broadband provider Sky, and the 20th Century Fox film and television production studios, which include the movie rights for the X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool, among other properties. The battle for Twenty-First Century Fox reflects a new imperative among entertainment and telecommunications firms.

There's one catch, though: the DOJ stipulated that Disney has to divest Fox's 22 regional sports networks that it was set to acquire in the deal.

The approval may make it harder for Comcast to win over Fox, which had rejected an earlier bid over concerns about regulatory scrutiny. Disney's raising of the ante underscores the increasing value of content, following AT&T's $85 billion purchase of Time Warner.

Disney and Fox didn't immediately have a comment.

"The Walt Disney Company had an excellent first half this fiscal year, delivering a 59% increase in diluted EPS, and we are pleased to be able to pay another strong dividend to shareholders while continuing to invest for future growth", said chairman and CEO Bob Iger.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.