December 14, 2017 / 7:44 PM / a year ago

Trump supports deal for Disney to acquire Fox film, TV units: White House

U.S. President Donald Trump delivers a speech on tax reform legislation at the White House in Washington, U.S., December 13, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump supports the deal that Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) has struck to buy film, television and international businesses from Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (FOXA.O), the White House said on Thursday.

“I know that the president spoke with Rupert Murdoch earlier today, congratulated him on the deal and thinks that, to use one of the president’s favorite words, that this could be a great thing for jobs and certainly looks forward to and hoping to see a lot more of those,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters.

The deal is likely to face an antitrust review by the Department of Justice, which is run by a Trump appointee.

Trump often praises Fox News, the conservative cable news channel that has given him favorable coverage and is also owned by Murdoch but not included in the sale.

Trump has been less enthusiastic about mergers of companies that own news outlets of which he has been critical.

The president objected to the proposed AT&T Inc (T.N) and Time Warner Inc TWX.N merger, which is currently being litigated after the Justice Department sued to block the deal. Time Warner owns cable news network CNN, which Trump frequently says reports “fake news.”

Trump was also scathing of Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) while the government was reviewing its acquisition of Whole Foods, a deal that was ultimately approved. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post, which Trump has criticized.

Reporting by Jeff Mason and Ginger Gibson; Writing by Makini Brice; Editing by Tim Ahmann and Susan Thomas

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