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Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard Acquisition Gets the Greenlight From Japan’s FTC

Posted March 28, 2023 | Games | Microsoft | Windows

Microsoft has just cleared another obstacle to its proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Indeed, the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) is the latest antitrust regulator to approve the deal, which has already been greenlighted by regulators in Brazil, Chile, Saudi Arabia, and Serbia.

In a press release, the JFTC said that it has “reached the conclusion that the transaction is unlikely to result in substantially restraining competition in any particular fields of trade.” As a result, the antitrust regulator has notified Microsoft and Activision that it “will not issue a cease and desist order, resulting in the completion of its review.”

The $68 billion deal is Microsoft’s biggest acquisition ever, and the mega-deal is also unprecedented in the gaming industry. So far, the acquisition has been scrutinized by the US FTC which sued to block the deal. It is also being investigated by regulators in the UK and the European Union.

The UK’s Competition and Markets (CMA) authority, however, acknowledged last week that the acquisition would not harm competition in the console market. The CMA is still investigating the impact of the deal on the cloud gaming market and it’s expected to share its findings by the end of April.

While it’s still too early to tell if Microsoft will be able to complete its acquisition of Activision Blizzard before the end of June, the company has reiterated that it wants to make Activision Blizzard games accessible to 150 million more gamers. That’s why the company signed a 10-year deal with Nintendo to bring back Call of Duty on the company’s consoles, and the company also signed 10-year licensing deals with Nvidia’s GeForce Now and the smaller cloud gaming platforms Boosteroid and Ubitus.

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