Microsoft deal to purchase Activision Blizzard approved by another regulator

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What you need to know

  • Microsoft is currently working to acquire Activision Blizzard in a deal worth almost $69 billion. 
  • The deal has to be approved by numerous regulatory authorities across different countries. 
  • The Brazil Administrative Council for Economic Defense, or CADE, has approved the acquisition with no restrictions.
  • The FTC, European Commission, and UK Competition and Markets Authority are all currently still investigating the deal.

There's still a ways to go, but Microsoft's planned purchase of Activision Blizzard is a step closer to being complete.

The Brazil Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) approved Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard on Wednesday with a public filing (opens in new tab). The document (which is naturally in Portuguese) states that the purchase has been approved with no restrictions.

"Furthermore, it is important to highlight that the central objective of CADE's activities is the protection of competition as a means of promoting the well-being of Brazilian consumers, and not the defense of the particular interests of specific competitors," CADE explained (opens in new tab) (as translated by ResetEra user Ides (opens in new tab)). 

"In this sense, although it is recognized that part of the users of PlayStation consoles (from Sony) could decide to migrate to Xbox in the event that Activision Blizzard games - and especially Call of Duty– become exclusive to the Microsoft ecosystem, SG/Cade does not believe that such a possibility represents, in itself, a risk to competition in the console market as a whole."

Brazil is not the first regulator to approve this deal (with Saudi Arabia also having no objections to the purchase) but it is notable. As part of its investigation, CADE published details on querying Microsoft, Sony, and various third-party companies about how the deal would affect the gaming industry, providing an unusually open back-and-forth as Sony claimed the deal would influence players' choices, while Microsoft reiterated its plans to keep Call of Duty multiplatform.

It'll be a while yet before the deal — the largest ever in gaming, at almost $69 billion — is completed, as it still has to be approved or go unchallenged by other regulators across the world. The FTC in the U.S. is currently investigating the deal, as are the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and most recently, the European Commission

The CMA notably raised concerns that the deal may stifle competition in the gaming industry. Microsoft president Brad Smith stated in response that the company is ready to work with regulators over any concerns. Meanwhile, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan said that the terms Microsoft offered to keep the juggernaut Call of Duty franchise on PlayStation were "inadequate" and has praised the CMA for further investigating the deal.

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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is on the way, and you can play it a week early if you preorder the game digitally. For the time being, this franchise remains multiplatform, but we'll see what happens in the years to come.

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Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.