Regulators for the European Union have announced their decision to allow Disney’s acquisition of several 21st Century Fox assets to proceed. However, like with U.S. regulators, this approval comes with a few conditions.
Deadline reports that the E.U. antitrust regulators have granted conditional approval to the Disney-Fox deal, which had been valued at $71.3 billion before Fox sold its stake in Sky to Comcast.
That said, Disney will have to divest its interests in certain properties — including History, H2, Crime & Investigation, Blaze and Lifetime — in the European Economic Area. Note that these restrictions only apply to the European Economic Area and will not have an effect on channels here in the U.S.
This ruling is somewhat similar to one made by the U.S. Justice Department, which granted approval on the condition that Disney sell 22 regional sports networks it’d be buying from Fox within 90 days of closing. Incidentally, reports now suggest Fox could be the ones buying back those RSNs when all is said and done.
In a statement, the commision said, “The decision is conditional on full compliance with commitments offered by Disney.”
Meanwhile, Disney said,
“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% 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.”
This doesn’t yet mean that the Fox-Disney deal is completely done, but it’s still on track to close sometime next year.