On June 27, 2108, the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division announced that The Walt Disney Company (“Disney”) agreed to divest 22 regional sports networks (“RSNs”) to resolve antitrust concerns with its approximately $71 billion acquisition of certain assets from Twenty First Century Fox (“21CF”).
Speedy Antitrust Approval
DOJ’s announcement of the settlement agreement is noteworthy because of the speed at which Disney was able to negotiate a remedy to a combination that raised a number of antitrust issues. Though the parties received second requests on March 5, 2018, and Disney had only recently entered into a new agreement with 21CF on June 20, 2018, the DOJ and Disney were able to negotiate a divestiture worth approximately $20-23 billion within 6 months of review and 4 months after issuing information requests. The dollar value of the Disney/21CF divestiture will likely double what the DOJ characterized as the largest divestiture in history in Bayer/Monsanto.