The Disney/Fox deal is finally, nearly complete as the landmark purchase has just cleared one of the last major hurdles. This all started in December 2016 when Disney bested the competition to buy the majority of the media assets held by 21st Century Fox. The final price of the deal wound up being a staggering $71.3 billion and it's set to reshape the media landscape as we know it. Whether or not movie and TV lovers realize it, this is going to have widespread implications and now, thanks to approval from Brazilian regulators, we're mere weeks away from this being locked down.
According to several reports, Brazilian regulators, specifically The Administrative Council for Economic Defense, have spent months reviewing the Disney purchase of Fox and have finally provided their seal of approval. As was the case in the United States and Mexico, a major sticking point was the regional sports networks that Disney was set to gain as part of the deal. Disney now has to sell off their stake in those sports networks in Brazil, just as they have to do in the United States, in order to gain approval. It's now expected that the deal will officially close in the first half of March.
Because Disney also owns ESPN, there was concern over the company gaining too much control in the sports media world. Ultimately, the Mouse House has bigger fish to fry and, while they certainly wouldn't mind the money that would come along with those sports networks, they've agreed to sell them off to various suitors. It was previously reported that Brazil had turned into something of a speed bump with the deal and Disney CEO Bob Iger personally flew to South America two weeks ago to meet with the country's regulators in person. Fox's regional sports networks are valued at $15 billion and are currently being shopped around to various suitors.
Once the deal closes, Disney will be in control of all of 20th Century Fox, in addition to networks like FX, National Geographic and more. This means they will be gaining a ton of major franchises including Avatar, Planet of the Apes, Kingsman, Alien and, most importantly for Marvel fans, the X-Men, Deadpool and Fantastic Four. Since Disney already owns Marvel, these franchises will be folded into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, meaning we could some day, theoretically, see Wolverine paling around with Captain America on screen.
While there are exciting elements, there are downsides. Hundreds if not thousands are going to be laid off in order to do away with redundancies within the new Disney ranks. There are also tons of projects that Fox had been developing that will never see the light of day, such as X-Force and most likely Gambit, just to name a couple. Plus, there will now only be five major movie studios, as opposed to six, meaning that creators will have fewer options when it comes to shopping around their projects. This is about taking the good with the bad, because it's too late now. This is happening. This news was previously reported by Deadline.