People/Biz

DOJ gives OK to Disney-Fox deal, with conditions

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has approved Disney’s proposed acquisition of various assets of 21st Century Fox, with the condition that Fox’s 22 regional sports networks aren’t among them. With ...
June 27, 2018

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has approved Disney’s proposed acquisition of various assets of 21st Century Fox, with the condition that Fox’s 22 regional sports networks aren’t among them.

With Disney also owning ESPN, the DOJ had flagged concerns over a sports broadcasting monopoly and is giving Disney 90 days after the potential close of the deal to divest the networks. If Disney didn’t consent to the condition, the DOJ was set to move ahead with an antitrust suit it had filed concurrently with its proposed settlement that aimed to “resolve the competitive harm alleged in the lawsuit.”

Thus, Disney opted to agree to the condition rather than continue with an ongoing investigation of the merger by the Antitrust Division.

“American consumers have benefitted 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,” said Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, in a statement. “Today’s settlement will ensure that sports programming competition is preserved in the local markets where Disney and Fox compete for cable and satellite distribution.”

There are still hurdles to clear with the proposed deal, however. Among them: regulatory approvals outside of the U.S., shareholder approvals and a potential new bid from Comcast, which has also been aggressively pursuing a purchase of the 21st Century Fox assets.

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news editor at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joined the RS team in 2015 with experience in journalism following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and with communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.

Menu

Search