Mexican regulator rejects delaying deadline for Fox Sports sale in Disney-Fox deal

Mexico’s telecoms regulator said on Thursday it has rejected a request to push back a deadline for the sale of Fox Sports in Mexico as part of the terms of Walt Disney Co’s (DIS.N) acquisition of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc film and television assets.

The Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) said the request was made by Disney and Fox and that the deadline for the sale is May 7.

The deadline had been previously postponed for selling the Fox Sports channels because of the difficulty of completing the sale during the coronavirus pandemic.

The IFT said that the “conditions prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which previously affected the sale process, today are different … so extending the suspension period for the sale is not justified.”

The IFT in 2019 approved Disney’s $71 billion purchase of Fox’s film and television assets, subject to the sale of Fox Sports (FOXA.O) channels, due to the “considerable” accumulation of market power the acquisition would create.