Discovery Communications, Inc. announced that the Department of Justice has closed its investigation into Discovery’s proposed acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive.

“We are pleased to have passed this significant regulatory milestone on our path to acquire Scripps Networks Interactive,” said David Zaslav, President and Chief Executive Officer, Discovery. “The conclusion of the Department of Justice’s investigation is an integral step toward closing our transaction. We look forward to combining these two great companies to the benefit of our enthusiast audiences around the world.”

Discovery announced in July 2017 that it had reached a definitive agreement to acquire Scripps Networks in a cash-and-stock transaction. The combination of the companies is expected to extend Scripps Networks’ content to international audiences, increase opportunities for advertisers and digital distribution partners, and unlock significant cost synergies.

The closing of the proposed transaction remains subject to completion of review in Ireland and other customary closing conditions. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the first quarter 2018.

Until legal close, the companies will continue to operate as separate and independent entities.

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