The European Commission has approved Disney’s proposed acquisition of parts of Fox, on the condition that it sells certain channel assets in Europe.
The Commission examined the effects of the proposed transaction on the markets where the activities of the two companies overlap. Regarding the production and distribution of films for release in movie theaters and distribution of content for home entertainment and licensing of films and other TV content, no issues were flagged.
However, in relation to the wholesale supply of TV channels, the Commission found that the proposed transaction would have eliminated competition between two strong suppliers of factual channels in several European member states.
To address this, the Commission is proposing that Disney divest its interest in all factual channels it controls in the European region, namely History, H2, Crime & Investigation, Blaze and Lifetime channels. These channels are currently controlled by A+E Television Networks, which is a joint venture between Disney and Hearst.