microsoft activision blizzard merger china sale approval

China unconditionally approves Microsoft / Activision purchase

Merger creeps closer toward completion

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China’s State Administration for Market Regulation has concluded its investigation into Microsoft’s proposed $68.7 billion (USD) purchase of publisher Activision Blizzard, concluding that it has no issue with the transaction taking place and thus offers “unconditional” approval.

With the region’s antitrust regulators taking no issue with the controversial merger, China joins a growing number of parties to offer Microsoft their backing in the merger, which will see the Xbox owner take proprietorship of franchises such as World of Warcraft, Overwatch, Diablo, and Call of Duty — The latter brand being, ultimately, the lynchpin of this long and drawn-out acquisition process.

“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,” wrote Microsoft in a statement to press outlets. “The acquisition combined with our recent commitments to the European Commission will empower consumers worldwide to play more games on more devices.”

As noted in the statement, Microsoft has already sought and found approval from Brazil, South Africa, Japan, Ukraine, and the European Union. The UK did not offer its backing of the merger, with Microsoft set to appeal. The final boss, as it were, ultimately comes down to Microsoft’s home territory of North America, where the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has actually filed suit in order to block the merger from taking place.

The case is expected to go to trial this August, with the losing party able to appeal the verdict.


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Chris Moyse
Senior Editor - Chris has been playing video games since the 1980s and writing about them since the 1880s. Graduated from Galaxy High with honors. Twitter: @ChrisxMoyse