One major concern whenever a large company acquires another company is the potential for antitrust issues. No exception was given to Disney when it expressed its interest in the major media assets of 21st Century Fox, such as the 20th Century Fox film studio. But buying up another media company raises questions on whether it might lead to unbalance completion or even an illegal monopoly.
That’s why the Disney-Fox deal was subjected to intense scrutiny of antitrust and trade regulators not only in its home country but also abroad. The following are the agencies that have examined the acquisition plan and given it their respective approval, along with whatever conditions they might have given Disney:
- Department of Justice – Antitrust Division (US) – approved June 2018, on the condition that Disney sell the 22 regional Fox sports networks that were originally packaged with the offered assets
- European Commission (EU) – approved November 6, on the condition that Disney divest itself of its stakes in Europe for A&E Networks, parent company of cable documentary channels History and Lifetime
- China regulatory board – approved on November 18 with no conditions; remarkable considering the People’s Republic is in a trade war situation with the US, making Disney a prime target for obstruction in doing business in China