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Microsoft's Activision Blizzard deal has its first regulatory approval
Saudi Arabia's General Authority for Competition has approved Microsoft's $68.7bn acquisition of Activision Blizzard
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny
✅ Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Competition has given Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard acquisition the green light
🥇 It’s the first regulatory body to approve the $68.7bn takeover
🤔 Microsoft still needs the approval of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Competition and Market Authority (CMA), and European Commission (EC)
😤 Sony has voiced its opposition to the deal due to the impact of Call of Duty
Microsoft’s $68.7bn acquisition of Activision Blizzard has been approved by Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Competition, which said it has “no objection” to the deal.
The approval was spotted by Twitter user Klobrille, who shared a tweet from the official Saudi General Authority for Competition account that says (using Google Translate), “The Saudi General Authority for Competition has no objection to completing the process of economic concentration between Microsoft Corporation and Activision Blizzard, Inc.”
Microsoft is still waiting for approval from other regulatory bodies, including the FTC, CMA, and EC, all of which need to give the deal the all-clear for its takeover of Activision Blizzard to be successful.
The FTC in the United States is expected to cast its verdict imminently, while the CMA in the UK said it will provide a decision by September 1.
Microsoft is still waiting to hear the ruling of Brazil’s regulatory body – the Administrative Council for Economic Defence (CADE) – which has revealed how Sony publicly feels about Microsoft’s pending acquisition.
🆚 Our PS5 vs Xbox Series X comparison will help you make the right choice
Brazillian government filings showed that Sony really doesn’t want Microsoft to own Call of Duty. The company claimed that the franchise is so popular that it “influences users’ choice of console,” which isn’t surprising. Sony has partnered closely with Call of Duty since the PS4, which is why PlayStation owners can enjoy Modern Warfare 2 beta access before anyone else.
Microsoft hit back at Sony’s objections and concerns over exclusivity deals, claiming that the Japanese company pays developers “blocking rights” to keep games off Xbox Game Pass.
Microsoft has repeatedly said that it will not make Call of Duty exclusive to Xbox Series X|S, but it is planning to put the blockbuster franchise on Xbox Game Pass, which means members can play the latest Call of Duty games for $9.99 a month instead of paying $70.
Bloomberg reported that Microsoft would only release the next three Call of Duty games on PlayStation platforms if its takeover of Activision Blizzard is successful. However, Microsoft has recently said it “simply wouldn’t be profitable” to keep the games off PlayStation.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is set to be one of the biggest games of the year for both PS5 and Xbox Series X|S owners. You can see everything else on the way with our PS5 games 2022 and Xbox Series X games 2022 lists.
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