Another major hurdle for Disney’s Fox purchase has been cleared. Disney has confirmed that regulators in China approved the company’s pending acquisition of 21st Century Fox assets without conditions. There are still several other countries that need to approve the deal, but it has been cleared in three of the world’s biggest markets (United States, European Union, and China).
For the past few months, there has been some paranoia that the Disney-Fox deal could be caught in the crossfire of a trade war between the U.S. and China. Those fears, however, were inflated by unrealistic speculation. Disney and CEO Bob Iger have earned too much respect in China to become collateral damage in trade hostilities that have nothing to do with the Mouse.
With the approval from China now in the bag, Disney should be even more confident in its ability to start closing the Fox deal in the first quarter of 2019. That means Marvel Studios should have access to the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises (and Deadpool) within a few months.