China Unconditionally Approves Microsoft Acquisition of Activision Blizzard
China's State Administration for Market Regulation has unconditionally approved Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard. As
reported by Seeking Alpha
and confirmed in a statement by Microsoft, global support for the $68.7 billion deal continues to grow, with only two holdouts in the UK Competition Markets Authority and US Federal Trade Commission standing opposed.
The Verge Senior Editor Tom Warren
While this approval may seem a bit ironic for World of Warcraft players after the
recent shutdown of Blizzard Entertainment games
and services in China, Microsoft and Activision continue to do a great deal of business in the region, and Blizzard could still find another licensing partner to take over NetEase's former operations.
However, with 37 (
, depending on how you count them) countries now approving the deal, the scales are massively tilted by those in favor of the acquisition rather than those against it. This puts increased pressure on those regulatory agencies holding out against the deal, particularly as their respective governments have already begun to question exactly why they stand opposed while the overwhelming majority of the world supports it - asking who exactly are these agencies protecting? FOSS Patents Florian Mueller puts the numbers into perspective:
What comes next has been the subject of much debate between analysts and industry experts. Many believe that the CMA will walk back their decision to block the merger, after being
questioned in a parliamentary oversight hearing
earlier this week. Others believe that, if the CMA holds their position, the
UK could be excluded
, though this would seem to be a last resort option.
As for the US Federal Trade Commission, things are a little more complicated. A new article from MLex Marketing Insights reports that the FTC
refuses to engage in remedy discussions
with Microsoft, digging in rather than working to find amenable solutions, but they're running out of time. With the close date of the current merger agreement rapidly approaching, Microsoft can simply tell the FTC that they're closing the deal, forcing the FTC to file a preliminary injunction and taking the case to federal court, where Microsoft is widely expected to win.
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