Microsoft-Activision Deal Gets The Green Light In China
The deal has found approval in the world's largest gaming market.
- Chinese regulators approve Microsofts $69 billion bid for Activision-Blizzard.
- The decision comes days after the EU approved the deal.
- This approval is an important step for Microsoft‘s attempt to overturn the UK’s opposition to the deal.
Microsoft has gained approval from Chinese regulators to acquire Activision-Blizzard, according to Dealreporter. The $69 Billion deal has found approval by China’s State Administration for Market Regulation, days after the deal was approved in the EU. This approval is an important step for Microsoft, which must gain approval in almost all markets it operates in for the deal to close.
China is currently the world’s largest gaming market, both by revenue and by users. China has 770 million gamers, compared to just 209 million in the US and 38 million in the UK. China is the largest market to approve the deal and has reportedly leaned in favor of approving the $69 billion acquisition since at least February.
This approval also comes weeks after the UK’s Consumer Markets Authority blocked the acquisition, setting up a roadblock for the deal to close. The CMA would later criticize the EU for approving the deal, saying they ignored concerns over cloud gaming anti-competitiveness. The EU requested remedies from Microsoft, including licensing Call of Duty games to other cloud gaming services.
The US still needs approval from the US’s FTC and some smaller markets as well. Approval in the EU and in China will likely give regulators elsewhere more ease to approve the deal in their jurisdiction. In Total the deal has been approved in 38 countries, representing a population of 2.37 billion and a GDP of $42 trillion according to legal analyst Florian Mueller.
China's SAMR has approved #Microsoft's purchase of #ActivisionBlizzard!
Just got the news from a New York-based financial analyst.
This means the deal has been approved in 38 countries with a total population of 2.37 billion people and aggregate GDP of US$42 trillion.
— Florian Mueller (@FOSSpatents) May 19, 2023
Microsoft’s biggest headache will be overturning the CMA’s decision to block the deal. There is also opposition to the deal in the US from the FTC. This approval in China will give Microsoft further ammo to use against regulators in its quest to close the biggest acquisition ever in gaming. Things have deteriorated between Microsoft and the CMA Microsoft hasn’t ruled out pulling Xbox out of the UK market entirely.
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