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Fox, Disney deal could close earlier after Chinese approval

Deal received "unconditional approval" from Chinese regulators

The Walt Disney Company’s proposed $71.3 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets has moved a step closer following approval from Chinese regulators.

Disney said it expects the deal to complete in the first half of 2019 – with some speculation that could now happen in the spring.

The deal still needs approval from several countries, but has already been given the go-ahead by US antitrust regulators, while the EU gave its approval earlier this month – with conditions.

Once the deal completes, Disney will gain control of brands such as National Geographic, FX and 20th Century Fox.