The deal is nearly done as China grants Microsoft an “Unconditional clearance” for its plans to acquire Activision Blizzard. This latest approval follows another major milestone when it gained support from the European Commission. Microsoft has been succeeding with regulators from around the world and China’s approval makes it the 37th country to approve the deal. A Microsoft spokesperson issued a statement to GamesIndustry.biz about its latest triumphant steps toward the proposed $68.7 billion acquisition.
From Microsoft (via GamesIndustry.biz):
“China’s unconditional clearance of our acquisition of Activision Blizzard follows clearance decisions from jurisdictions such as the European Union and Japan, bringing the total to 37 countries representing more than two billion people,” it stated.
“The acquisition combined with our recent commitments to the European Commission will empower consumers worldwide to play more games on more devices.”
From the U.K. to the U.S.
The deal has yet to pass in the UK where its Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) expressed concerns and cited multiple reasons in its final report blocking it. Microsoft is expected to appeal the CMA’s decision. Meanwhile, in the U.S., Microsoft has had mixed success in getting support. While some U.S. senators have expressed support, there was enough pressure on the FTC, which filed its own lawsuit at the beginning of 2023, to block the deal. The Register reports a hearing is set to happen on August 23 while interested parties have until June 19th to finish submitting their responses to the CMA.
As China grants Microsoft its clearance, the company presumably could have smooth sailing in reaching its final destination for the deal that began with an official announcement a little over a year ago in January 2022. A list of some of the countries that have already approved the deal includes Brazil, Chile, Serbia, Japan, the EU, Saudi Arabia, and now China. Other countries still reviewing the deal include South Korea, New Zealand, and Australia.