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Disney's bid for 21st Century Fox approved by Department of Justice

Why AT&T-Time Warner merger is "epic"

The Walt Disney Co. has won U.S. antitrust approval for its $71.3 billion bid for Twenty-First Century Fox's entertainment assets.

That sets the clock ticking for the deal to be completed. Disney has 90 days to seal the acquisition, with an option to extend for another 90 days.

The Department of Justice said Wednesday that Disney must first sell its 22 regional sports networks.

Disney's stock traded slightly higher, up 0.2 percent to $104. Twenty-First Century Fox shares rose 2.2% to $48.70

Fox's assets have been the target of bidding skirmish between Comcast and Disney. Comcast offered nearly $66 billion for Fox's assets, which include the FX network and the studio that houses the X-Men franchise.

Fox has the option to consider other offers and Comcast could raise its bid.

The battle for 21st Century Fox reflects a new imperative among entertainment and telecommunications companies, as seen by AT&T's recent takeover of Time Warner. Media giants are increasingly consolidating in a fast-changing industry that has both established and upstart news and entertainment brands amassing ever more programming to better compete with technology companies such as Amazon and Netflix for viewers' attentions -- and dollars.

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