Disney Wins Approval to Buy 21st Century Fox Assets

June 27, 2018

Disney won approval for its $71.3 billion bid to buy 21st Century Fox assets on the condition that it sells off Fox's local sports networks, the Justice Department said on Wednesday.

The news came after reports that Comcast is reportedly considering strategic partnerships with other companies or private equity firms in order to outbid Disney, according to the Wall Street Journal. While no immediate plans are in the works, the Journal said Comcast could turn to these options, if bidding for Fox got into the $90 billion range.

Fox announced last week it agreed to Disney's offer, which the company was forced to raise from its original $52.4 billion bid made last December. The increase came after Comcast put in a competing all-cash $65 billion offer in the wake of a judge's approval of AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner earlier this month.

Both media giants are looking for new revenue streams amid increasing competition from streaming companies like Netflix and Hulu.

One potential strategy for Comcast, according to the Journal, would be for a partner to take Fox's U.S. properties ー ie, its movie and TV studios and regional sports networks ー while Comcast gets the international assets, including Britain's Sky and Star India.

It's unclear when and if Comcast will make a move, though, as Disney and Fox postponed a shareholder vote on their deal originally scheduled for July 10. Potential partners were also not disclosed.

The DoJ is only one of the many regulators Disney needs to appease to get final approval for its deal.

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