Fox and Disney shareholders vote to approve $71.3 billion merger

Shareholders for both The Walt Disney Co. and those for 21st Century Fox voted on Friday to approve the $71.3 billion acquisition of Fox’s film and TV entertainment assets by Disney.

The vote all but seals the lid on a deal that was nearly hijacked by Comcast Corp. when CEO Brian Roberts offered Fox $65 billion for the same assets, forcing Disney to up its initial bid to the now $71.3 billion.

With the deal wrapped up, Disney will take over ownership of Fox’s Twentieth Century Fox film and TV studios, as well as certain cable and international television businesses, according to the companies’ joint merger proposal to shareholders.

That should help strengthen Disney’s content offering even more as it prepares to launch its standalone streaming service next year. And fanboys can rejoice in Marvel properties, such as the X-Men and Fantastic Four being in a position to join the MCU.

Fox, on the other hand, will hold on to a portfolio of news, sports and broadcast businesses, including the Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, Fox Broadcasting Company, Fox Sports, Fox Television Stations Group, and sports cable networks FS1, FS2, Fox Deportes and Big Ten Network, and certain other assets.

Fox and Disney had originally agreed on a $54.2 billion all-stock deal before Comcast’s unsolicited bid. But Roberts and Comcast dropped out of the running for Fox’s assets last week, opting instead to focus on its battle with Fox to acquire U.K. broadcaster Sky.

“I’d like to congratulate Bob Iger and the team at Disney and commend the Murdoch family and Fox for creating such a desirable and respected company,” Roberts said in a statement at the time.

There were concerns from Fox and industry experts that a combination with Comcast would face tougher regulatory scrutiny.

The U.S. Department of Justice has already approved Disney’s acquisition, provided the media and entertainment company divest the 22 regional sports networks it was set to gain in the deal.

Read original story Fox and Disney Shareholders Vote to Approve $71.3 Billion Merger At TheWrap

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