Nod for Disney's $71.3B acquisition of Fox entertainment

Walt Disney and 21st Century Fox shareholders vote in favour of deal to buy Rupert Murdoch’s firm

Walt Disney and 21st Century Fox shareholders vote in favour of deal to buy Rupert Murdoch’s firm

Friday, moving one of the biggest media mergers in history nearer to completion. Both shareholder meetings were held at the New York Hilton and concluded in under 15 minutes. It's expected to close in the first half of next year, according to Fox. The deal, as covered by multiple sites, shaves off the news and sports businesses from Fox in exchange for the company's entertainment assets. One shareholder read an ode to Fox's executive chairman.

The deal's contours began to form almost a year ago over wine between Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger and Murdoch at the elder mogul's Moraga vineyard above Bel-Air.

Some investors are concerned that China might use this deal to retaliate against as much as $500 billion in import tariffs threatened by President Donald Trump, who called Fox co-chairman Rupert Murdoch to congratulate him when the transaction was unveiled in December.

Though the Justice Department approved the acquisition last month, Disney is waiting on approvals from more than a dozen global territories, including the European Union and China. Disney alone has Marvel, Pixar, and Lucasfilm bolstering its own lineup of films.

The other Fox assets include a 39 percent stake in United Kingdom -based pay-TV and broadband provider Sky and Mumbai-headquartered media company Star India.

Shareholders gave the go-ahead for a $US71 billion deal between 21st Century Fox and Disney on Friday.

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Disney raised its offer after Comcast ignited a bidding war by putting in a $US65 billion offer for the 21st Century Fox assets. Disney could benefit from Fox's entertainment portfolio.

That should help strengthen Disney's content offering even more as it prepares to launch its standalone streaming service next year.

Disney and Fox/Fox Searchlight now have 48% of the market share at the 2018 USA box office.

Under the acquisition, Disney nets Fox's movie and television studios, cable television channels, a stake in Hulu and stakes in London network Sky and India television stations. On the TV side some titles they will control include The Simpsons, Family Guy, The X-Files, Legion, American Horror Story, The Orville, NBC's This Is Us and ABC's Modern Family. Fox TV studio co-Ceo Dana Walden is expected to lead their TV production business.

But still. X-Men in an Avengers film. Those rights will come back to Disney with the merger.

"We're incredibly pleased that shareholders of both companies have granted approval for us to move forward, and are confident in our ability to create significant long-term value through this acquisition of Fox's premier assets", said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company.

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