European Regulators Set October 21 Deadline For Disney/Fox Takeover Approval

Disney is set to discover whether its $71B takeover of Fox will get a stamp of approval from European regulators by the end of next month.

Antitrust regulators from the European Union will make a decision on the case by October 21. This comes after Disney filed for European approval on September 14.

Regulators will decide in the next five weeks whether it can clear the deal with or without concessions or open an investigation process, which will take four months, if it finds serious concerns.

The decision was posted today on the European Commission Competition website.

It comes after the U.S Justice Department gave the Mouse House the greenlight over the deal in June on the condition that Rupert Murdoch’s Hollywood studio sells its 22 regional sports networks.

This move was done to smooth over ESPN-related monopoly concerns. ESPN is already the leading sports power, with 88 million U.S. subscribers and a stack of pro and college rights. In recent years, ESPN has also invested in region-flavored ventures like the SEC Network, which carries sports from the southern collegiate power conference. Fox’s regional sports channels have amassed some 61 million subscribers, and broadcast 44 out of 81 professional basketball, baseball and hockey teams.

Watch this space.

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