Mexico City. The plenary session of the Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) approved a two-month suspension to conclude the sale of Fox Sports, given “a notorious impossibility” of continuing in its entirety with the process of disincorporation “that entails the merger of Twenty-First Century Fox and The Walt Disney Company.
The suspension will run from July 28 to September 28, 2020 and does not exempt the parties from complying with the other conditions, the agency said. Among them, “maintain and sell the Fox Sports business in Mexico as a viable, competitive, ongoing and independent business.”
In March 2019, the full IFT unanimously approved the merger of Twenty-First Century Fox and The Walt Disney Company, on the condition that the sports channel be sold to avoid a concentration of this market; A padlock was also imposed so that they cannot be recovered in at least 10 years.
The deadline for the sale was August 3. However, the companies argued that the Covid-19 pandemic has made disengagement difficult and asked for endorsement to suspend the process.
The IFT authorized the companies the postponement and, in the event that the “cause for which the suspension was authorized persists,” Twenty-First Century Fox and Walt Disney may request a new extension.
For now, the procedure will continue on September 29, 2020 with a view to ending on October 5; at the same time that companies must keep in communication with potential buyers of Fox Sports in Mexico.
The plenary also reiterated that, in the event that the sale of Fox Sports is not completed in the deadline for disincorporation, Disney and Twenty-First Century Fox must proceed to affect the property and all assets of that business to an irrevocable trust that Aim to sell as a viable business.