The Walt Disney Company has announced it will officially acquire 21st Century Fox on March 20.
Disney fought off the likes of Comcast to acquire Fox after the US Department of Justice (DOJ) approved the acquisition in June 2018. As an anti-trust provision, Disney was asked by the DOJ to relinquish 22 of its regional sports networks to provide fair competition in that space and had 90 days to restructure.
Disney said its acquisition of Fox includes its film production businesses like Twentieth Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Fox 2000 Pictures, Fox Family and Fox Animation; Fox’s television creative units, Twentieth Century Fox Television, FX Productions and Fox21; FX Networks; National Geographic Partners; Fox Networks Group International; Star India; and Fox’s interests in Hulu, Tata Sky and Endemol Shine Group.
It hopes with the addition of Fox, it will be able to provide high-quality content and entertainment options to meet growing consumer demand, increase its international footprint and expand its direct-to-consumer offerings, which include ESPN+ for sports fans, Disney+ streaming video-on-demand service launching in late 2019, and both parties combined stakes in Hulu.
“This is an extraordinary and historic moment for us—one that will create significant long-term value for our company and our shareholders,” said Robert A. Iger, the chairman and chief executive officer at The Walt Disney Company.
“Combining Disney’s and 21st Century Fox’s wealth of creative content and proven talent creates the preeminent global entertainment company, well positioned to lead in an incredibly dynamic and transformative era.”
As part of its sale to Disney, Fox completed the spin-off of a portfolio of 21st Century Fox’s news, sports and broadcast businesses, including the Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, Fox Broadcasting Company, Fox Sports, Fox Television Stations Group, and sports cable networks FS1, FS2, Fox Deportes and Big Ten Network, and certain other assets and liabilities, into Fox Corporation.