Disney's Brazil meeting is said to end without Fox deal accord

Disney chief Bob Iger with actress Emily Blunt at the world premiere of Disney’s movie Mary Poppins Returns in 2018.
Disney chief Bob Iger with actress Emily Blunt at the world premiere of Disney’s movie Mary Poppins Returns in 2018.PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (BLOOMBERG) - A crucial meeting on Tuesday (Feb 12) between Brazil regulators and Walt Disney chief executive officer Bob Iger on a proposed US$71 billion (S$96 billion) deal with 21st Century Fox ended without an agreement, presenting a potential hurdle to the entertainment giant.

Brazil's antitrust regulator, known as Cade, still has not decided on a date for a ruling on the deal, according to two people close to the discussions.

The legal deadline for a decision is on March 17 and, if the case is not discussed at Cade's Feb 27 meeting, an extension would need to be requested, said the people, who requested anonymity because the discussions are not public.

Brazilian regulators are still split on whether the deal can be approved without the need for Disney to sell one of the two sports channels in the country, Fox Sports or ESPN, the people said.

In December, Cade posted a report that said the deal could create a competition hazard.

Some Cade board members still see behavioural remedies as a viable option to obtain approval.

Iger and his lawyers declined to answer questions after the meeting.