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European Commission approves Disney’s Fox deal – with conditions

Disney will divest interest in History, H2, Crime & Investigation, Blaze and Lifetime channels

The European Commission has announced it has approved Disney’s $71.3 billion purchase of 21st Century Fox, but it has made the deal subject to conditions.

In a statement, regulators said: “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 Commission said it has concluded that the proposed transaction, as modified by the commitments, “would no longer raise competition concerns.” But that the decision is conditional upon full compliance with the commitments.