The fight over 21st Century Fox‘s entertainment assets is over. And it looks like the Marvel Cinematic Universe has the potential to get a lot bigger.
New reports confirm that the Department of Justice has approved of The Walt Disney Company‘s $71 billion offer to acquire Fox’s entertainment assets. This includes TV and film properties. More on the story below.
Per THR, as a part of the new deal, Disney would agree to sell Fox’s 22 regional sports networks. The move would prevent ESPN, a Disney-owned sports asset, from becoming a monopoly.
While the deal has been approved, it does not block Comcast out from potentially making another offer to outbid Disney.
Fox had initially accepted Disney’s original $52 billion dollar offer last year, then Comcast made a sweeter deal of their own which was priced at $65 billion, all cash. Disney then upped their original bid to $71 billion, which was a mix of cash and stock. Disney would also be taking on Fox’s $13.5 billion dollar debt, taking the price north of $85 billion.
As previously reported, Disney would own Fox’s entertainment assets which include TV shows like The Simpsons, Family Guy, and more. They would also own their film properties, which, of course, includes the original Star Wars editions, but most importantly, Marvel, which would include titles like X-Men, Deadpool, and Fantastic Four.
Disney would also have stakes in Star India, FX, Nat Geo, Fox’s 30 percent share of Hulu, and Fox’s 39 percent stake in Sky, the European satellite TV company. It will be interesting to see what they will do with Hulu considering that they just ended their deal with Netflix so that they could launch their own streaming service.
Now just because the DOJ approved of the merger doesn’t mean that it happens overnight. Again, Comcast could bring in a new offer of their own. Although, Disney’s newest deal was designed so that could happen. But there is still a chance that Comcast could do it. Then there is the fact that Fox still has other deals set in place. And then there are regulatory hurdles to clear, including from other countries. So it is a long ways from happening. But this is the first steps to getting it done.