When the U.S. Justice Department gave its approval to The Walt Disney Company’s acquisition of numerous 21st Century Fox assets, the blessing came on the condition that Disney sell off the 22 regional sports networks it’d be gaining from Fox. Now a report from CNBC suggests the bidding process for the networks is underway and that Amazon is one potential buyer.
- According to CNBC, Amazon was a participant in the first round bidding process for the network, which includes the YES Network.
- Sources say other current bidders include Apollo Global Management, The Blackstone Group, Sinclair Broadcast Group, Tegna, and KKR.
- Notably absent from the list is New Fox (what will remain of 21st Century Fox after the Disney deal is complete), who previously reports indicated could be a potential buyer.
- That said, CNBC sources note that New Fox could join the bidding process in the second round, which is expected to begin before the year’s end.
- This news comes as the Disney-Fox deal overcame another major hurdle yesterday as Chinese regulators gave the proposed transaction their unconditional approval.
- There had been some worry that the country might attempt to hold up the acquisition as the U.S. and China are currently engaged in a trade war.
- Speaking of regulators, Disney will also need to find a buyer for their share of several cable networks in the European Union as part of the conditional approval offered by regulators in that region.
- The Disney-Fox deal is expected to close early next year.