Published: Fri, March 15, 2019
Economy | By

DISNEY Sets Closing Date for 21st Century Fox Acquisition

DISNEY Sets Closing Date for 21st Century Fox Acquisition

Disney's purchase of the Fox assets - first unveiled in December 2017 - will likely transform the Burbank company into an entertainment Goliath, towering over its traditional competitors.

That meant ensuring a separation of licensing and provision between Fox's National Geographic and Nat Geo Wild channels, and the A&E, History, H2 and Lifetime networks of Disney, the IFT said.

Disney said that its $71 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox America is expected to take effect on Wednesday, March 20.

21st Century Fox will separate the Fox Broadcasting network and stations, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, FS1, FS2 and Big Ten Network into the newly-listed company Fox Corporation.


"The acquisition is expected to become effective at 12:02 a.m". Eastern Time on March 20, 2019. Like with Brazil last month, the main sticking point was Disney's putative ownership of Fox Sports given the importance of soccer rights; the combination of Fox and Disney's ESPN was also viewed warily by regulators in the USA and Europe, with major agencies there requiring divestitures.

In recent weeks, Disney has been stitching up the final regulatory approvals from Latin American countries, including Brazil and Mexico.

Analysts expect that Disney will lay off at least 5,000 people - some on the Fox side, others on the Disney side - as a result of consolidation. And even after it is all said and done, it will still be a while before Fox's properties can fall under the Disney umbrella. Above all, Disney's ownership of both ESPN and Fox Sports would create a concentration that would leave Grupo Televisa as the only remaining competitor in that market. Elizabeth Gabler will continue in her role running production at Fox 2000.

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