LOS ANGELES, March 19 (Xinhua) -- Disney's 71.3-billion-U.S.-dollar acquisition of 21st Century Fox officially closed at 12:02 a.m. Eastern Time (0402 GMT) Wednesday, marking the start of a new era in Hollywood.

By finalizing the acquisition, Disney is poised to strengthen its position in the U.S. media and entertainment industry. The deal leaves the California-based Mouse House the undisputed biggest of the five remaining Hollywood major studios.

The acquisition includes 21st Century Fox's renowned film production businesses, including Twentieth Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Fox 2000 Pictures, Fox Family and Fox Animation; Fox's television creative units, Twentieth Century Fox Television, FX Productions and Fox21, FX Networks, National Geographic Partners, Fox Networks Group International, Star India, and Fox's interests in Hulu, Tata Sky and Endemol Shine Group.

After the close of trading, Disney and 21st Century Fox announced Tuesday that the per-share value of the merger will be about 51.6 U.S. dollars.

21st Century Fox announced hours earlier in a statement that it has completed the distribution of all issued and outstanding shares of Fox Corporation common stock to 21st Century Fox stockholders on a pro rata basis, adding that 21st Century Fox and Fox Corporation are now each a standalone, publicly traded company.

Disney and 21st Century Fox entered into a consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice last year under which Disney will divest 21st Century Fox's Regional Sports Networks.

21st Century Fox said that it completed the spin-off of a portfolio of its news, sports and broadcast businesses, including the FOX News Channel, FOX Business Network, FOX Broadcasting Company, FOX Sports, FOX Television Stations Group, and sports cable networks FS1, FS2, Fox Deportes and Big Ten Network, and certain other assets and liabilities, into Fox Corporation.

"This is an extraordinary and historic moment for us -- one that will create significant long-term value for our company and our shareholders," said Robert A. Iger, chairman and chief executive officer of the Walt Disney Company, in a statement on Tuesday afternoon.

"Combining Disney's and 21st Century Fox's wealth of creative content and proven talent creates the preeminent global entertainment company, well positioned to lead in an incredibly dynamic and transformative era," he said.

Disney completed the transaction after more than 15 months of back and forth, beating out strong rival Comcast, an American telecommunications conglomerate, in a fierce bidding war.

Disney announced a deal to acquire many parts of 21st Century Fox for a price of 52.4 billion dollars in December 2017. But Comcast offered a 65-billion-dollar all-cash bid, prompting Disney to increase its bid to 71.3 billion dollars in cash and stock.