The Microsoft-Activision Deal Has Been Approved In Japan

The JFTC does not think it would restrain competition.

Story Highlights

  • The Microsoft-Activision merger has recently been approved in Japan by the Japan Fair Trade Commission, saying that it does not restrict any business fields in any way.
  • The approval was reported in a new review report and a document that delved into the specifics of why the merger was approved. 
  • The document considered foreign competition authorities and studied the $70 billion deal to see how it may affect the game market.
  • The deal has been approved in Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, and recently Chile thus far, and recent developments suggest it could be accepted in the UK soon.

The renowned Microsoft’s acquisition of the Activision Blizzard deal has taken another step closer to the competition. It has been approved by another major regulator recently, gaining its foothold in Japan. The Japan Fair Trade Commission oversaw the giant merger in the country and has finally made its final decision. The deal was approved because JFTC believes the buyout does not restrict competition in video game markets.

As clarified in the latest review results by Japan Fair Trade Commission, the Microsoft-Activision deal has gained another backing. The watchdog issued a lengthy 43-page report document, which dives into great detail and explores the specifics of why the merger was approved. The document considered foreign competition authorities and analyzed the huge merger to see its potential effects on different game-related businesses.

The Japan Fair Trade Commission reviewed the transaction and reached the conclusion that the transaction is unlikely to result in substantially restraining competition in any particular fields of trade. Accordingly, the JFTC has notified the Parties that the JFTC will not issue a cease and desist order, resulting in the completion of its review,” reads the (machine-translated) document.

It shared similar sentiments in the review report and affirmed its take to curb the concerns raised by the giant conglomerate Sony. “The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) has determined that this act does not substantially restrict competition in certain business fields.

Thus, Japan Fair Trade Commission has cleared that it will not issue a cease and desist order, and the deal has been officially approved in Japan. It is the fifth major regulator to take Microsoft’s side, and many other notable countries are still in the pending stages. The nearly $70 billion Microsoft-Activision merger has earned the nod of approval from countries, including Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, and recently Chile thus far.

The concrete decision to lock the fate of the huge buyout is currently in process in countries, namely the United States, the EU, the UK, and others. Recent updates by the CMA suggest that the deal could also be approved in the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) only recently said that the buyout would “not result in a substantial lessening of competition” in its latest provisional update.

Thus, the UK shares similar sentiments to Japan, but the deal has not yet been approved because CMA is still analyzing the effects of the merger on the Cloud gaming market. The final report by the UK’s CMA will arrive on April 26th, 2023. 

To put more salt on the wound, US congressmen only recently alleged that Sony is hurting the Xbox brand in Japan. The 11 congressmen said Sony engages in anti-competitive behavior in the region, which has halted the Xbox brand’s growth. One notable point that was raised added that Sony signs exclusivity deals with Japanese devs and publishers to keep popular Japanese video game titles exclusive to the PlayStation system.

Sony is actively against the Microsoft-Activision deal and is trying to prove to the EU, UK, and other countries, that the merger will cause a lot of havoc in the gaming industry. It has mainly stressed the Call of Duty franchise, concerned that it may be taken off the PlayStation platforms. Regardless, recent developments have suggested that the deal may swing toward Microsoft’s favor, and it expects it to be completed by June 2023.

Similar Reads: Square Enix’s Obsession With NFTs Persists As Symbiogenesis Unveils, Much To Our Horror.

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Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC)

Shameer Sarfaraz is a Senior News Writer on eXputer who loves to keep up with the gaming and entertainment industries devoutly. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science and several years of experience reporting on games. Besides his passion for breaking news stories, Shahmeer loves spending his leisure time farming away in Stardew Valley. VGC, IGN, GameSpot, Game Rant, TheGamer, GamingBolt, The Verge, NME, Metro, Dot Esports, GameByte, Kotaku Australia, PC Gamer, and more have cited his articles.

Experience: 4+ Years || Education: Bachelor in Computer Science.

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