According to Variety, the regulators in China have now given the green light to Disney's purchase, moving it even closer to completion. Although the two companies agreed on the deal several months ago, international regulators need to approve the purchase before it can be completed. At this time, Disney is expecting the deal to be completed by sometime in 2019.
The approval from the Chinese market comes nearly two weeks after the the European Commission gave it the thumbs-up. However, the European Commission had some conditions for the pending purchase.
"To address the Commission's competition concerns, Disney committed to divest its interest in all factual channels it controls in the European Economic Area (EEA), namely: History, H2, Crime & Investigation, Blaze and Lifetime channels," said a statement from the European Commission. "These channels are currently controlled by A+E Television Networks, which is a joint venture between Disney and Hearst. The commitments fully remove the overlap between Disney's and Fox's activities in the wholesale supply of factual channels in the EEA...
"Therefore, the Commission concluded that the proposed transaction, as modified by the commitments, would no longer raise competition concerns. The Commission's decision is conditional upon full compliance with the commitments."
Approval in Europe and China can be counted as a major victory for Disney, having already acquired the okay from the United States Justice Department.
Of course, one of the most talked about pieces of this deal comes in the form of the Marvel characters that have long been licensed by Fox, such as the X-Men and Fantastic Four. Fans have long been waiting for these characters to make the jump to Marvel Studios (owned by Disney), and this deal allows that to finally happen.
As far as those properties go, Disney CEO Bob Iger has already stated that they will fall under the leadership of Kevin Feige, who runs Marvel Studios and the MCU.2comments
"I think it only makes sense," Iger said. "I want to be careful here because of what's been communicated to the Fox folks, but I think they know. It only makes sense for Marvel to be supervised by one entity. There shouldn't be two Marvels."
When do you think the Disney/Fox deal will finally be completed? Let us know your predictions in the comments below!