European Antitrust Regulators Set Oct. 19 Deadline for Disney-Fox Deal Ruling

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Disney needs European approval for its planned $71.3 billion takeover of 21st Century Fox.

Europe's antitrust regulators have set an Oct.19 deadline for their ruling on Walt Disney's planned $71.3 billion takeover of the entertainment assets of 21st Century Fox.

The European Commission on Monday unveiled the deadline. The Commission can approve Disney's takeover bid as is, require concessions, or, if it has serious concerns regarding the deal, open a four-month investigation into the agreement.

The U.S. Justice Department gave the green light to the deal in June on the condition that Disney sell off Fox’s 22 regional sports networks.

The Disney deal would see the Mouse House, led by chairman and CEO Bob Iger, acquire Fox's TV and movie studios, its FX Networks and National Geographic operations, TV giant Star India, as well as Fox's stake in Hulu and its 39 percent stake in European pay TV giant Sky.

The way was cleared for Disney to acquire the Fox assets after rival Comcast dropped its own $65 billion bid. But Comcast, led by chairman and CEO Brian Roberts, still has its eye on Sky, having submitted a raised $34 billion offer for the group, which operates pay-TV channels in the UK, Italy, Ireland and across German-speaking Europe.