Shareholders approve Disney's $71.3 billion acquisition of Fox

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Disney is acquiring 39 per cent of Sky through the deal with Fox and still technically has a bid on the table for the broadcaster.

Now the latest development of shareholder approval clears the path for the Disney-Fox deal to be finalized in early 2019. "We remain convinced that the combination of 21CF's iconic assets, brands and franchises with Disney's will create one of the greatest, most innovative companies in the world". I want to thank all of our executives and colleagues for their enormous contributions in building 21st Century Fox over the past decades.

Neither of the two companies' leaders made an appearance.

Disney was forced to sweeten its offer last month after Comcast, the largest United States cable company, made a $66bn bid for Fox's well-known TV shows and movie franchises, including the X-Men and The Simpsons. Both companies' investors reportedly approved in separate votes at the New York Hilton Midtown in Manhattan.

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Today was a very important step, though, as shareholders for both companies met to vote on the terms of the deal. The proposals included the adoption by 21st Century Fox stockholders of the merger agreement with Disney (the "Disney Merger Agreement") and the distribution merger agreement for the spin-off of new "Fox".

Some executives are already negotiating their future, with Fox Networks Chairman Peter Rice expected to take a similar role overseeing the combined companies' TV business, with the exception of ESPN. During a brief question and answer period, one said Disney overpaid by as much as US$10 billion. The doubling of Disney's Hulu shares (making it the majority owner, with 60 percent) comes as Disney is preparing the launch of its own streaming platform to compete with Netflix and other giants in the streaming space. Disney stockholders approved the issuance of new common stock that will be distributed to 21st Century Fox stockholders as part of the acquisition.

But still. X-Men in an Avengers film.

In June, the US Department of Justice gave its consent for the merger, provided Fox Sports' 22 regional networks were not included in the deal.