The decision has been made and it was quick. Earlier today an overwhelming majority of Disney and 21st Century Fox’s shareholders agreed to the $71.3 billion merger deal between the two media giants.
Deadline and The Wall Street Journal report that the decision was made in around eight minutes and 99% of shareholders co-signed with only a single Disney shareholder objecting, claiming that Disney was spending too much money.
The rest of the shareholders reportedly applauded the deal with one amusingly offering a declaration of love for Rupert Murdock. No word if that person will be required to undergo a psychiatric examination.
The package reportedly includes Fox’s 39% stake in the European pay TV company Sky which Comcast, which passed on pursuing 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets, is still pursuing. Last month, the U.S. Department of Justice entered into a consent decree with Disney and 21st Century Fox that allows the transaction to proceed, while requiring the sale of the Fox Sports Regional Networks.
While there are still some regulatory clearances and payments to be made, including numerous international approvals, there are reportedly few hurdles left in the deal which will see the movie rights for both the “X-Men” and the “Fantastic Four” franchises stay at Fox but will now be available to Marvel Studios. The deal isn’t expected to be ‘fully closed’ until sometime in the first half of 2019.