The European Commission announced that European antitrust regulators have approved the Walt Disney Company’s acquisition of 21s Century Fox’s key entertainments assets subject to conditions.
Disney’s $71.3 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets received approval from European antitrust regulators on the condition that the company sells its stakes in Europe in such networks including Lifetime and History. The European Commission made the following statement detailing the divestments required for their approval of the deal:
“To address the Commission’s competition concerns, Disney committed to divest its interest in all factual channels it controls in the European Economic Area (EEA), namely: History, H2, Crime & Investigation, Blaze and Lifetime channels. These channels are currently controlled by A+E Television Networks, which is a joint venture between Disney and Hearst. The commitments fully remove the overlap between Disney’s and Fox’s activities in the wholesale supply of factual channels in the EEA.”
The European Commission added:
“Therefore, the Commission concluded that the proposed transaction, as modified by the commitments, would no longer raise competition concerns. The Commission’s decision is conditional upon full compliance with the commitments.”
Disney made the following statement:
“We are gratified by the decision of the European Commission to clear the transaction with the sole remedial measure being the divesting of our interests in Europe of the History, H2, Crime + Investigation, Blaze and Lifetime channels. Disney will continue to be a 50 percent owner of A&E apart from the companies operating these channels in Europe. […] We continue to pursue clearance as quickly as possible in the jurisdictions that remain.”
The European Commission previously set a Tuesday deadline to either approve the deal as is, require conditions, or open a four-month investigation of the takeover if it had serious concerns. This is the latest regulatory hurdle the deal has crossed as The U.S. Justice Department previously approved the acquisition on the condition that the company sells off Fox’s 22 regional sports networks.
Stay tuned to Heroic Hollywood for the latest news on the deal as it develops!
Source: The Hollywood Reporter