Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard Acquisition Approved by China
China’s antitrust regulator has approved Microsoft’s monumental $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, making it the 37th country to greenlight the deal. The European Union had already cleared the acquisition earlier in May. In a statement to Eurogamer, the company said,
“China’s unconditional clearance of our acquisition of Activision Blizzard follows clearance decisions from jurisdictions such as the European Union and Japan, bringing the total to 37 countries representing more than two billion people. The acquisition combined with our recent commitments to the European Commission will empower consumers worldwide to play more games on more devices.”
Microsoft’s Acquisition Journey
Microsoft’s ambitious acquisition of Activision Blizzard has garnered global attention, with countries such as Japan, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Serbia, and South Africa, among others, granting their approval for the deal. Nevertheless, the tech giant still needs to navigate the unexpected obstacles that have arisen. The UK’s Competition And Markets Authority blocked the proposed merger, citing concerns over potential competition issues in the emerging cloud gaming space. Microsoft has announced its intention to appeal the decision, while the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is also seeking to block the deal and has scheduled hearings for later this year.
Assurances to Regulators
To assuage concerns raised by regulators, Microsoft has taken proactive measures, striking deals to ensure its games are accessible on competing cloud streaming services. One notable partnership involves bringing all Xbox PC games to Nvidia’s cloud streaming service, GeForce Now, for ten years. Over the months it has entered similar agreements with Nintendo, Steam, Boosteroid, and more. The latest agreement is with Nware to bring Call of Duty and other Activision Blizzard games. These collaborations aim to prevent the exclusivity of Activision Blizzard’s games on Microsoft’s Game Pass or Xbox platforms.
The proposed $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft represents a historic milestone in the gaming industry. This deal is the largest-ever acquisition in gaming history and one of the largest across all sectors. The fate of Microsoft’s groundbreaking Activision Blizzard acquisition hinges on the outcomes of the UK appeals process and US hearings. Strategic partnerships aim to address regulatory concerns. The results will shape both the gaming industry and Microsoft’s position within it.