Microsoft gets US approval to buy Activision Blizzard

The penultimate major hurdle against the deal has now been solved.

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When Microsoft announced their intention to buy Activision Blizzard early last year, there were three major hurdles that needed to be sorted out; approvals from EU, UK and USA.

Since then, EU has given their approval, while UK has not, although Microsoft is now trying to reverse this decision. The last one was USA, and a decision was expected to be delivered this week, and now it has arrived. Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley has listened to both the Federal Trade Commission and Microsoft/Activision Blizzard and decided to approve Microsoft's wish. Judge Corley says:

"For the reasons explained, the Court finds the FTC has not shown a likelihood it will prevail on its claim this particular vertical merger in this specific industry may substantially lessen competition. To the contrary, the record evidence points to more consumer access to Call of Duty and other Activision content. The motion for a preliminary injunction is therefore DENIED."

The Microsoft president Brad Smith is of course happy with this decision and tweets that he is "grateful to the Court in San Francisco for this quick and thorough decision and hope other jurisdictions will continue working towards a timely resolution".

The Activision Blizzard boss Bobby Kotick has also commented this deal and says:

"Our merger will benefit consumers and workers. It will enable competition rather than allow entrenched market leaders to continue to dominate our rapidly growing industry."

It remains to be seen how Microsoft will handle the UK situation if the decision to block the affair isn't overruled, but it seems like they will go through with the acquisition regardless. Something that probably means Activision Blizzard will be removed from the UK market and get their games published via another publisher and that Activision Blizzard titles won't be added to Game Pass in this region.

Microsoft gets US approval to buy Activision Blizzard

Thanks, The Verge.

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