Disney's acquisition of Fox is closer to being finalized, as a new report indicates that one of the last market requiring regulatory approval is likely to put a stamp on the deal.
The report from Bloomberg (via Seeking Alpha) indicates that antitrust regulators in Brazil are expected to approve the Walt Disney Company's purchase of entertainment assets from Twenty-First Century Fox, which include the movie studio 20th Century Fox and the television networks under the FX umbrella.
Brazil's Administrative Council for Economic Defense, or CADE, will reportedly approve the deal without forcing any divestments of property from Disney. According to the report, the companies met with regulators in December and will provide proposals about changes they will implement after the acquisition is completed.
The report cites concerns from CADE regarding the combination of ESPN and different Fox Sports assets that will come under their umbrella. While the main Fox Sports brand and their own deals, such as the Thursday Night Football broadcasts of the National Football League, will remain with the New Fox, Disney will acquire their their regional sports networks.
Disney has also indicated that they plan to auction off the regional sports networks, possibly selling them back to the New Fox, which could play a part in the Brazilian regulators approving the purchase.
According to the report, CADE's ruling could come on January 30th, when they come back from their year-end recess. This would be one of the final hurdles for Disney's acquisition, meaning the purchase would likely be finalized shortly after.
While the ramifications of this deal will be wide and varied, many fans across geekdom are eager to see it done sooner than later if only for the implications it will have in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Disney will gain control of Fox's intellectual properties including Alien, Predator, and Avatar franchises, but it will also attain the film rights to the Fantastic Four and the X-Men. This will effectively put a majority of those comic book characters under the control of Marvel Studios and producer Kevin Feige.
It will likely be a long time before we see these characters mixing it up with the Avengers on the big screen, but fans will likely get excited once the ink dries on the contracts.