Japan approves Microsoft's Activision Blizzard buyout
The controversial buyout is one step closer to passing
Japan has approved Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard, marking the next step to the deal’s completion.
The country’s competition and market regulator, the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC), announced the decision in a press release. After reviewing the deal, it concluded that “the transaction is unlikely to result in substantially restraining competition in any particular fields of trade.”
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: Microsoft-Activision deal
✅ Japan has approved Microsoft’s proposed buyout of Activision Blizzard
🗨 The country’s regulator said it was “unlikely to result in substantially restraining competition”
🤔 The UK and EU are yet to announce their final reviews
⛔ The US sued to block the deal last year
It added: “Accordingly, the JFTC has notified the Parties that the JFTC will not issue a cease and desist order, resulting in the completion of its review.”
Other countries including Brazil and Saudi Arabia have also approved the deal, which otherwise remains under review or is being contested.
After the US Federal Trade Commission sued to block the deal last year, Microsoft is now courting regulators to allay their concerns and prove the tie-up wouldn’t squash competition in the industry.
The Xbox maker has spent the last few months striking deals with other gaming companies to gain their support, and has repeatedly denied it will make Call of Duty exclusive to Xbox platforms after the deal passes.
Microsoft has already signed a 10-year Call of Duty deal with Nintendo and promised that every Xbox PC game will come to the GeForce Now streaming service – Nvidia’s rival to Microsoft’s own Xbox Cloud Gaming.
Sony has been one of the more enthusiastic opponents of the deal and has not yet signed on to Microsoft’s multi-platform promises, even going as far as to suggest the company may deliberately sabotage Call of Duty games on PlayStation platforms.
Microsoft has previously said that it plans to add Activision Blizzard’s games to Xbox Game Pass, putting Call of Duty, Overwatch, Diablo and other series onto the subscription service.
The UK’s regulator is expected to announce its final review next month and the EU will do the same in May. The FTC’s lawsuit against Microsoft will go to trial in August.
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