Hollywood's landscape will change very soon as Walt Disney Studios' acquisition of 21st Century Fox film and TV assets has been approved in Brazil. Fox first agreed to sell their movie, TV, and additional assets to Disney back in December 2017 and have been working toward completing the deal ever since. Comcast attempted to break up the deal and purchase Fox for themselves, but Disney increased their bid to $71 billion to not miss out on the opportunity to acquire a library of rich content.
In the many months since the final price was agreed upon, Disney and Fox have been seeking approval from regulatory committees in various countries around the world. The United States' Department of Justice quickly approved the deal last summer and there's been steady progress made with China and the UK being among the others to already sign off on the deal. Recently, the deal hit a small snag in Brazil after regulators were worried about Disney's control over ESPN and Fox Sports in their region. A resolution has now been found and will allow the deal to continue moving forward.
Deadline reports that the Brazilian regulators have officially approved the Disney-Fox deal after Disney agreed to sell the local Fox Sports channels and related sports rights upon the completion of the deal. This condition of the deal is hardly surprising, as the Department of Justice also required this to be done by Disney, and Mexico is also reportedly expected to sign off on the deal with the same stipulation. According to Deadline, these approvals will push the deal into a 10 day final review period that will allow the Disney-Fox deal to officially close in the middle of March.
This latest development is a massive step forward for the deal and now appears to have moved the timeline back up to earlier forecasts. The most recent expectation was that the deal would be completed in June, and that was before the slight trouble with Brazil. If this is the case and the deal officially goes through in March, then it will be nearly 15 months since the original agreement was made.
Although there are clear downsides to the Disney-Fox deal (such as the thousands of people set to lose their jobs), there is still plenty of information that we do not know. It isn't yet clear how exactly the remaining Fox movies and future Fox properties will be handled by Disney, but CEO Bob Iger has said all the right things about keeping Fox Searchlight around and allowing R-rated properties like Deadpool to continue to be more adult-focused. The part of this deal that many are most excited about, though, is Marvel Studios having access to X-Men and Fantastic Four characters. It will be too late for these characters to be brought in for Avengers: Endgame, but movies that are in development will suddenly have the ability to lay the foundation for their introductions.