Disney’s Deal to Merge With FOX Receives Justice Department Approval

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On Wednesday, the Department of Justice approved Disney $71 billion bid for a collection of 21st Century Fox's assets with one caveat: it must sell Fox's 22 regional sports networks, including FSKC, according to multiple reports.

The Fox sale to Disney would include 21st Century Fox's film and television studios, cable entertainment networks, and worldwide properties including Star in India and Fox's 39-percent ownership of Sky across Europe.

The conditions placed by the Justice Department allow Disney to still absorb the parts of Fox that have become key to its long-term strategy, namely the company's movie and television studio, .

Disney must sell the regional sports networks to a buyer acceptable to the USA within 90 days of closing on the Fox deal. Nevertheless, Disney being a smaller media conglomerate than Comcast-outside of the movie business-made them a friendlier alternative for Fox, hence why Murdoch originally approached Disney first past year.

This morning, The Wall Street Journal reported that Comcast is exploring deals with other companies and private equity firms, looking for options in case the bidding approaches that lofty level.

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Walt Disney's proposed mega-deal with 21st Century Fox moved a step closer to reality Wednesday as U.S. regulators conditionally cleared the tie-up which could reshape the media-entertainment landscape.

Disney and Comcast have traded jabs over which bid would face an easier path to regulatory approval, an important consideration for Fox stockholders, who must weigh which deal to accept.

The Fox-Disney deal, agreed in December, still needs numerous other regulatory approvals from other countries. Most recently, Comcast tried and failed to steal Fox's favor with an "all cast" deal that the company wasn't interested in, especially after Disney sweetened the deal significantly. Fox and Disney each own a 30 percent stake in Hulu. The slimmed down 21st Century Fox would retain the Fox broadcast network, Fox News, Fox Sports and Fox Business.

Included in the planned sale is Fox's 39 percent stake in the British pay TV operator Sky.