In what is seen as a massive step forward for Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox, the U.S. Justice Department has given the OK for the proposed purchase. While not unexpected, the quick decision by the Justice Department gives Disney a massive advantage over Comcast as things stand.
As part of the regulatory approval, the Justice Department has instructed Disney to divest Fox’s regional sports networks. This is due to Disney’s ownership of ESPN and regulators not wanting Disney to have too much ownership of televised sports.
Having regulatory approval from the United States Government means that any deal between Disney and Fox can move forward as soon as the two parties agree to one. Comcast still needs regulatory approval for any deal they hope to strike with Fox to be allowed, which usually takes at least six months.
Earlier this month, Disney topped Comcast’s improved bid, submitting a $71.3 billion bid for Fox which was tentatively accepted by Fox.
You can read our timeline of the Fox/Disney/Comcast saga here, which will be updated with this news story.