Image copyright Marvel Studios 2008/20th Century Fox 2015/United States Department of Justice
It looks like it’s basically a done deal, folks.
The ongoing Disney/Fox deal has made a massive step towards realisation, as the US Department of Justice (DoJ) has given the proverbial thumbs-up to the deal.
Releasing a provisional approval over the Walt Disney Co.‘s acquisition of many of 21st Century Fox‘s assets, the DoJ has stated how Disney will not be allowed to absorb Fox‘s regional sports networks in America – meaning the likes of FS1 will be off the table, potentially staying with Rupert Murdoch’s “New Fox” platform.
Disney has already given an update on their side of the acquisition by onfirming that the House of Mouse would sell off Fox‘s 22 regional sports networks – so long as the deal goes through, of course.
This approval will surely help Disney‘s stake over Fox than Comcast, as it makes Disney‘s acquisition more likely.
Previously, Disney raised their offer from $52.4 billion to $71.3 billion, topping Comcast‘s cash bid of $65 billion. Disney‘s topped their bid, which was previously comprised of mainly stocks and shares, with additional funds. On top of this, Disney is offering to absorb Fox‘s $13.8 billion worth of debt, which, effectively, brings their total bid value to $85.1 billion.
The goalpost for Comcast might have now been placed too far out of their reach as this new figure, coupled with Fox‘s shareholders, and its board of directors (which includes chairman Rupert Murdoch) all seem to be gearing towards the day Disney will own a majority of Fox‘s assets.
Comcast‘s bid, which came in after the amalgamation of AT&T and Time-Warner, forced Fox‘s shareholders to postpone their vote on the deal. However, as Disney is, surprisingly, a smaller media conglomerate than Comcast, they are seen as being the “friendlier” option for Fox, which is why many believe Murdoch approached them last year.
Whilst we are not done yet on the whole Disney/Fox/Comcast saga, it might not be as long as Summer 2019 until a decision is made a deal is struck, especially at how quickly this chapter in the story came about.