The Walt Disney Company announced today that the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has cleared the pending acquisition by Disney of 21st Century Fox.
The DOJ 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 Sports Regional Networks. Under the consent decree, Disney will have at least 90 days from the date of closing the transaction to complete this sale, with the possibility that the DOJ can grant extensions of time up to another 90 days. The decree is subject to the normal court approval process.
The companies said: “The parties have worked diligently since announcing the acquisition last December to provide the DOJ the information that it needed for its investigation of the transaction. We are pleased that the DOJ concluded that, with the exception of the proposed acquisition of the Fox Sports Regional Networks, the transaction will not harm competition, and that we were able to resolve the limited potential concerns to position us to move forward with this exciting opportunity that will enable us to create even more compelling consumer experiences.”
Last week, Disney and Fox announced an amended acquisition agreement pursuant to which Disney will acquire Fox for $38 per share in cash and stock, immediately following the spin-off of the businesses comprising “New Fox” as previously announced.
Completion of the transaction is subject to a number of non-United States merger and other regulatory reviews, and other customary closing conditions, as well as approval of shareholders of both companies.