Microsoft's acquisition of ZeniMax Media approved by EU, Bethesda closer to being Xbox first-party

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Xbox Bethesda Game Studios (Image credit: Bethesda)

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Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • In September 2020, Microsoft announced that it was acquiring ZeniMax Media.
  • Due to the scale of the acquisition, it must be approved by multiple regulators.
  • It's been approved by the EU, cementing an important step in finalizing the acquisition.

Microsoft's deal to acquire ZeniMax Media looks poised to move forward following approval from the EU. The European Commission was set to approve the deal by March 5, a standard regulatory procedure with major acquisitions. Now, it looks set to pass without any issues or concerns.

The European Commission published its decision around the merger on Monday, stating it "does not raise serious doubts as to its compatibility with the common market." The EU "shall decide not to oppose it and shall declare that it is compatible with the common market," leaving the deal set to move ahead over the weeks ahead.

Microsoft ZeniMax European Commission Case

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

The acquisition recently received the green light from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), relieving one extra hurdle toward completion. Once the deal is finalized, it's safe to expect Microsoft will talk more about what Bethesda brings to Xbox, as well as answering the question of title exclusivity. Microsoft has already confirmed that all of Bethesda's upcoming titles like Starfield will launch day and date in Xbox Game Pass, which has reached over 18 million subscribers.

Even when the deal goes through, this may not be the end of Microsoft's recent purchasing spree, as CEO Satya Nadella previously confirmed that Microsoft will be looking to acquire more gaming companies as time goes on.

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Samuel Tolbert
Freelance Writer

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.