Disney CEO Offers Update On Fox Acquisition Regulatory Process After Reports Of Comcast Swooping In

Disney CEO Offers Update On Fox Acquisition Regulatory Process After Reports Of Comcast Swooping In

Disney CEO Offers Update On Fox Acquisition Regulatory Process After Reports Of Comcast Swooping In

With reports of Comcast entertaining the idea of submitting a bid for Fox's assets, Disney CEO Bob Iger offers an update on the regulatory process regarding its deal and how long it's expected to take.

Disney held its Q1 2018 earnings call this week with CEO Bob Iger fielding a number of questions about the company’s massive deal to acquire Twenty-First Century Fox.

Iger acknowledged that the regulatory process has begun and that he’s had multiple meetings with executives at Fox which have provided him with valuable insight into the company’s assets.

“The regulatory process has begun in numerous jurisdictions across the world,” Iger said. “And I spent the last several weeks meeting with a number of business leaders at Fox, gaining insight that will be invaluable when it comes to integrating our organizations once we have regulatory approval.”

He added: “After these discussions, I'm even more enthusiastic about the businesses we're acquiring and the management teams that are leading them. As we said, when we announced this deal, there are three primary strategic priorities fulfilled by this acquisition. It will deliver more content and the production capabilities and talent to produce even more. It will enhance our direct-to-consumer initiatives with platforms, technologies, brands and existing customer relationships to build on. And it will greatly diversify our businesses geographically. All three of these elements sync up perfectly with our own core strategies, and all three are designed to create growth in a very dynamic global marketplace.”

During the call, Iger offered very little in terms of specifics regarding the timing of the regulatory process.

“We don't really have any update on the regulatory front," Iger said. "We're going through the process, which is significant, because of the number of jurisdictions that we have to file in and the size and the complexity of this deal. And as much as we'd love to be at a point where we'd gain regulatory approval and we're integrating the companies, we know from the absolute beginning just how patient we have to be in this regard. So there is nothing to update you on there.”

Despite his comments on the call, Iger appeared on CNBC on Tuesday and seemed to have reaffirmed the 12 to 18 month process needed to complete the regulatory process. It’s worth mentioning that during this process another competitor could swoop in with a better off for Fox. Reports have claimed that Comcast, the parent company of Universal Pictures and NBC, is considering coming in with a bid higher than Disney’s $66.1 billion. Disney is reportedly “considering responses” should Comcast come to Fox with its own higher bid. Should the deal with Disney and Fox go through, the House of Mouse would acquire 21st Century Fox, including the Twentieth Century Fox Film and Television studios, along with Fox's cable and international TV businesses. Of course, this also means the X-Men and Fantastic Four would return home to Marvel.

For now, though, it seems to be wait-and-see for all parties involved.

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