Another territory down
The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) has offered its official approval to Microsoft for its proposed purchase of publisher Activision Blizzard. The approval puts Microsoft one step closer to completing the $68.7 billion USD sale, which was first announced in January 2022.
The JFTC published its findings yesterday in a 48-page report, wherein the regulatory body states that the proposed purchase “would not substantially restrain competition in any particular fields of trade.” The JFTC believes that the merger does not violate antitrust laws, and that the increased trend toward cloud and digital gaming prevents the possibility of any supply shortage of the products themselves.
The report will come as a great relief to Microsoft, crossing off one more major distribution territory from the list of areas with which the publisher seeks approval. Of course, Microsoft is yet to gain official approval from two of the biggest markets in the western world: Europe and the United States. The latter is going to be a particularly tough ask, given that the North American FTC has actually filed suit in a bid to block the proposed sale from taking place.
Japan’s approval is a huge feather in the cap of the sale, and could potentially lead to smaller territories — still on the fence about the sale — leaning in Microsoft’s favor. Regardless, MS will still have to engage in a legal dispute with the FTC this summer, with both parties able to appeal should the courts not find their favor. This ongoing situation is still quite some ways from completion.