DOJ Approves Disney's Acquisition of FOX Assets On Condition It Divests 22 Regional Sports Networks

DOJ Approves Disney's Acquisition of FOX Assets On Condition It Divests 22 Regional Sports Networks

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The Department of Justice has approved Walt Disney's $71.3 billion acquisition of select Twenty-First Century Fox assets on the condition that Disney divest twenty two regional sports networks.

The Justice Department’s Antitrust Division filed a civil antitrust lawsuit today in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to block the proposed acquisition. At the same time, the Department filed a proposed settlement that, if approved by the court, would resolve the competitive harm alleged in the lawsuit. The Department said that without the required divestitures, the proposed acquisition would likely result in higher prices for cable sports programming licensed to multichannel video programming distributors (“MVPDs”) in each of the local markets that the RSNs serve. To streamline agency clearance, Disney agreed to divest the 22 RSNs rather than continue with the Antitrust Division’s ongoing merger investigation.

“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 Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. “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.”

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DOJ Approves Disney's Acquisition of FOX Assets On Condition It Divests 22 Regional Sports Networks

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