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US: Disney, Fox agree on asset purchase terms

 |  June 21, 2018

The Walt Disney Company has overtaken its rival Comcast as the favorite to acquire many of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc.’s coveted media assets.

Disney is expected to receive US antitrust approval in as soon as two weeks, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday citing people familiar with the matter. According to the report, Disney has agreed to sell certain assets to avoid competition issues that can arise from the merger. Bloomberg noted this creates a “potentially insurmountable hurdle” for rival Comcast.

Disney is confident that it is in a better position than Comcast to acquire the assets because its deal with Fox has already been looked at for several months by regulators. “We believe that we have a much better opportunity, both in terms of approval and the timing of that approval, than Comcast does,” CEO Robert Iger said, according to The Wall Street Journal.

“We are extremely proud of the businesses we have built at 21st Century Fox, and firmly believe that this combination with Disney will unlock even more value for shareholders as the new Disney continues to set the pace at a dynamic time for our industry,”  said Rupert Murdoch, Fox’s executive chairman in a statement. “We remain convinced that the combination of 21CF‘s iconic assets, brands and franchises with Disney‘s will create one of the greatest, most innovative companies in the world.”

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