The US Department of Justice has submitted approval of Disney’s proposed $71.3 billion buyout of 21st Century Fox’ media assets.
The DOJ specified that as a condition of the deal, Disney must sell off Fox’s 22 regional sports networks within 90 days of the deal's closure.
The quick turnaround on the decision seemingly makes a Disney acquisition more likely, after the company increased its offer from $52.4 billion to $71.3 billion.
It throws a spanner in the works for Fox, whose shareholders are yet to vote on the deal after a July vote was postponed following Comcast’s $65 billion bid.
"American consumers have benefitted from head-to-head competition between Disney and Fox’s cable sports programming that ultimately has prevented cable television subscription prices from rising even higher,” said DOJ antitrust division head Makan Delrahim. "Today’s settlement will ensure that sports programming competition is preserved in the local markets where Disney and Fox compete for cable and satellite distribution."
UPDATE: 21st Century Fox has called a shareholder meeting on the 27th of July to vote on Disney’s amended merger offer for the bulk of Fox’s assets.