The next domino in the Disney-Fox deal may fall in a little over a month. Regulators for the European Union have set an October 19 deadline to rule on Disney’s $71B bid for the majority of Fox’s assets. Disney filed for the approval on September 14.

The EU can approve the deal unconditionally or with concessions. If regulators believe the proposed acquisition warrants more scrutiny, they can open up an investigation that will last four months.

The Disney-Fox deal has already been approved by the U.S. Justice Department on the condition that Disney sell Fox’s regional cable sports networks, which Disney has agreed to do. Shareholders for both companies also approved the deal in July.

Prior to the vote, Disney and Fox advised shareholders to expect the deal to close within six to twelve months of June 20, 2018. A potential four-month investigation by the EU was likely built into the higher end of that estimate.

Should Disney breeze through the EU, as the company did in the U.S., the deal could be done closer to the early range of that timeline. Even with the EU’s permission, however, Disney will still need approval in other international markets, including China.

SOURCE: Reuters