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The merger faced antitrust scrutiny; Disney would not legally be able to own both the ABC and Fox networks due to an FCC policy known as the "dual network rule", which prohibits mergers between the top broadcast networks. The Department of Justice also ordered that Fox's regional sports networks be divested by Disney within 90 days of closing. Disney owns 80% of ESPN, and the Justice Department felt that the Fox regional networks' combination with ESPN would make Disney too dominant in the cable sports market.
In mid-2018, NBCUniversal's parent company Comcast instigated bidding wars over both the Fox assets Disney planned to purchase, and the British broadcaster Sky plc (a company which 21st Century Fox held a stake in, and was planning to acquire the remainder). In July 2018, Fox agreed to an increase of Disney's offer to $71.3 billion to fend off Comcast's counter-bid. British regulators ordered that a blind auction be held for Sky's assets, which was won by Comcast.
On October 10, 2018, it was reported that in preparation for the impending completion of the sale, the new, post-merger organizational structure of "New Fox" would be implemented by January 1, 2019. On November 14, 2018, it was revealed that the new independent company will maintain the original Fox name. On January 7, 2019, Fox Corporation's registration statement was filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
On January 11, 2019, Fox stated in a securities filing that it had no plans to bid on its former regional sports networks; they would instead go to a consortium led by Sinclair Broadcast Group, with Fox Corporation continuing to license the FSN name to those stations until Sinclair can develop a new brand. On March 12, 2019, Disney announced that the sale would be completed by March 20, 2019. On March 19, 2019, Fox Corporation officially began trading on the S&P 500, replacing 21st Century Fox on the index. Republican politician and former Speaker of the HousePaul Ryan also joined Fox Corporation's board at this time.
Beginning of operations
Fox Corporation began operating separately on March 18, 2019. Chairman and CEO Lachlan Murdoch led a town hall meeting three days later, indicating that stock would be issued to the corporation's employees based on longevity.
In May 2019, via the Fox Sports division, Fox Corporation acquired a 4.99% stake in Canadian online gambling operator The Stars Group for $236 million. As a result, it was also announced that the companies would co-develop sports betting products for the U.S. market under the branding Fox Bet.
In early July 2019, Fox Entertainment announced the formation of SideCar, with executives led by Gail Berman. SideCar is a content development unit for Fox and other outlets.