Microsoft's Activision Blizzard purchase mostly approved by one more country
Inching closer to the finish line.
What you need to know
- Microsoft's purchase of Activision Blizzard for almost $69 billion is going through the final stages of review in many countries.
- South African regulator CCSA have just recommended approval for the purchase, joining the list of approvals so far that includes Japan, Chile, and more.
- Formally, the Competition Tribunal in South Africa will now take a few days to approve the purchase.
- The deadline for CMA in the U.K. and the European Commission have until April 26 and May 22, respectively, to decide on the deal.
Countries around the world are reviewing Microsoft's purchase of Activision Blizzard, and slowly but surely, the deal is getting closer to completion.
South African regulatory authority CCSA shared on Monday that it has recommended approval for the $69 billion purchase, which will add Activision, Blizzard Entertainment, and King to the Xbox first-party roster. The deal will now formally be approved by the Competition Tribunal in the coming days.
"The Commission found that the proposed transaction is unlikely to result in significant foreclosure concerns as the parties do not have the ability and incentive to foreclose competing game distributors, particularly Sony (Playstation) and Nintendo (Switch)," the CCSA explained. "Furthermore, the merging parties have made undertakings to continue supplying Call of Duty games to other console manufacturers.
South Africa is set to join a growing list of countries that have approved the deal so far, including Japan, Chile, Brazil, Serbia, and Saudi Arabia. Other regulators, such as the CMA in the U.K. and the European Commission, have yet to decide. The FTC in the U.S. has notably opposed the deal, suing to block the purchase, with an initial court hearing set for August later this year.
Microsoft has gone on a notable PR blitz to get the deal approved, signing Cloud gaming deals with numerous companies, as well as signing a 10-year deal with Nintendo for Call of Duty and offering a similar deal to Steam parent company Valve.
Sony's PlayStation remains vehemently opposed to the purchase, telling regulators that Microsoft will use the purchase to raise console prices and intentionally introduce bugs into PlayStation versions of Call of Duty.
Windows Central's take
While not one of the major approvals needed for the transaction to close, any new approvals provide even more weight for the deal to finish. With a decision due soon from Europe and the U.K, this saga is winding down over the next few weeks.
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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.