The Walt Disney Company has announced that the Chinese government has unconditionally approved the company's mass acquisition of 21st Century Fox's assets; arguably the largest and most important market for the company outside of North America.
The lack of conditions stand in direct contrast to European officials approving the acquisition on the condition that Disney sells Fox's A&E Networks which include the History and Lifetime channels while the United States government approved the acquisition on the condition that Disney sell Fox's 22 regional sports networks. Disney has been compliant with this stipulation and has begun taking bids from outside companies on the properties.
Despite current trade tensions between the United States and China, this approval comes as a major coup for Disney with China being one of the company's largest growth markets over the past decade.
According to 21st Century Fox President Peter Rice last month, the acquisition was slated to be finalized by January 1, 2019 just in time for the new year. The Chinese approval was one of the last major hurdles for the deal to move forward.
Approved by shareholders earlier this year, the $71.3 billion deal will see Disney acquire Fox's television and movie studios with their various respective properties including regaining the cinematic and television licensing to the X-Men and Fantastic Four. Additionally, Disney will acquire National Geographic, FX, and a controlling stake in the premium streaming service Hulu. Not included in the deal are Fox News, the Fs1 sports network, and the Fox broadcasting network.
(via The New York Times)