The Disney-Fox deal cleared one of its few remaining hurdles when Brazilian regulators conditionally approved the deal on Wednesday. As previously reported, Brazil’s antitrust regulator CADE had concerns about the combination of Disney’s ESPN and Fox Sports.
Disney agreed to sell not only Fox Sports in Brazil but also all the network’s broadcast rights. Disney has also agreed, for a fixed period, not to sign agreements with the sports leagues that have agreements with Fox Sports, not to try to reacquire those rights, and to offer free use of the Fox brand to the buyer of Fox Sports. “The measure aims to eliminate competitive concerns in the pay TV sports channel market,” CADE said.
Mexico is expected to have similar conditions for its final regulatory approval.
These approvals will push the $71.3 billion deal into a 10-day final review period, which means the deal could officially close mid-March.