Disney says Fox acquisition will close on March 20

More than a year after the deal was first announced, it looks like Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox is about to close.

Disney announced today that the deal is “expected to become effective at 12:02 a.m. Eastern Time on March 20, 2019,” suggesting that it has obtained the final approval needed, specifically from regulators in Mexico.

Disney had initially agreed to acquire Fox for $52.4 billion, before a counter-offer from Comcast prompted it to increase its bid to $71.3 billion.

The acquisition will see Disney buying Fox’s film and television studios, giving it control of the “Avatar” franchise and the film rights to a number of Marvel characters, including the Fantastic Four, the X-Men and Deadpool. It will allow Disney to double its stake in Hulu, from 30 to 60 percent.

Bringing the two entertainment giants together is also expected to lead to more than 4,000 layoffs.

Meanwhile, Fox News, the Fox broadcast network and other assets that Disney is not buying, are being spun out into a new entity called Fox Corporation.