Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox is set to close soon. More than a year after it was initially announced, Disney said Tuesday that the deal will become effective at 12:02 a.m. ET on March 20, 2019, TechCrunch reports.
Part of the delay was due to obtaining final approval for the acquisition from regulators in Mexico. Disney had initially tried to acquire the studio for $52.4 billion, but after a counter offer from Comcast raised that offer to $71.3 billion. Shareholders approved the merger in July of last year.
The move gives Disney control over Fox’s film and television studios, including the Avatar franchise and a number of popular Marvel characters like X-Men and Deadpool. As part of the deal, Fox News will be spun off into its own entity, Fox Corporation.
The U.S. Justice Department approved of the deal under the condition that Disney sell off Fox’s regional sports networks that compete with Disney-owned ESPN. Ice Cube is reportedly bidding on one of those stations.
The merger of the two companies is expected to result in more than 4,000 layoffs.