According to Walt Disney World News Today they have, and that appears to clear the way for Disney to complete the purchase of Fox, should they put in the highest bid that is.
Earlier this month, Disney submitted a $71.3 billion bid which was tentatively accepted, leaving Comcast to either significantly up their bid or step away.
The U.S. Justice Department has given the OK for the proposed purchase. While not unexpected, the quick decision by the Justice Department gives Disney a massive advantage over Comcast as things stand.
As part of the regulatory approval, the Justice Department has instructed Disney to divest Fox’s regional sports networks. This is due to Disney’s ownership of ESPN and regulators not wanting Disney to have too much ownership of televised sports.
Having regulatory approval from the United States Government means that any deal between Disney and Fox can move forward as soon as the two parties agree to one. Comcast still needs regulatory approval for any deal they hope to strike with Fox to be allowed, which usually takes at least six months.
There’s still significant work to be done, but the day when Star Wars is 100% controlled by Disney appears to be getting closer and closer. The most notable omission – the distribution rights for A New Hope which Fox currently holds – could be resolved, and just last Thursday Bob Iger himself said the ultimate plan was “reuniting all of the Star Wars movies ever made under one roof, which opens new opportunities for that franchise.”