Justice Department Approves First Step in Disney's Acquisition of Fox Assets

The deal may still be a long ways away from being finalized, but Disney just cleared a major hurdle in acquiring Fox's assets today.

According to CNBC, the Justice Department approved the Disney acquisition of Fox assets minus the 22 regional sports networks that Disney must sell off before completing the deal.

The Hollywood Reporter writes:

"The U.S. Department of Justice on Wednesday approved Walt Disney's partial merger with 21st Century Fox, but said Disney must sell Fox's regional sports networks as those, coupled with ESPN, could form a monopoly in sports broadcasting."

THR also attained a copy of a memo to Fox employees from the Murdochs:


Today the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice cleared the pending Disney transaction. This decision is a big step forward towards the completion of our Disney transaction and the creation of new “Fox.”

The Department of Justice announced today that it has entered into a consent decree with Disney and 21st Century Fox that allows the acquisition to proceed, while requiring the sale of the Fox Regional Sports Networks within 90 days following the close of the Disney transaction. However, there are still other conditions to closing, including stockholder approval and additional regulatory approvals outside the U.S. At this point we anticipate that the Disney transaction and the creation of new “Fox” will be completed within 6-12 months.

We realize the Department of Justice’s decision will reshape the future course of our regional sports businesses and add uncertainty for our colleagues across the RSNs. Our RSNs are an incredibly strong asset offering television’s most valuable content and we are confident that whatever the outcome, the future of our regional sports business will continue to be incredibly bright.

Thank you again for your patience and understanding during this time of change. We will continue to communicate key events as they unfold.


Lachlan and James
There are still a lot of regulatory hurdles left, but this is a very positive first step toward Disney completing this deal and acquiring Fox's assets which include big time franchises like: THE SIMPSONS, DEADPOOL, X-MENFANTASTIC FOUR, AVATAR, and many more.