Anti-trust regulators in the European Union will approve Microsoft’s $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard as soon as this coming Monday, May 15, according to a report from Reuters.
The European Commission had said a decision would be delivered by May 22, but the announcement could come as soon as a week before then, Reuters said.
An approval by the European Commission is no big surprise given what Microsoft president Brad Smith has said. Regulators in the EU have been open to having “more of a conversation” about the deal compared to the UK. Smith went on to say that the EU is a more attractive place to do business than the UK, according to him.
“People are shocked people are disappointed and people’s confidence in technology in the UK has been severely shaken,” Smith said.
In the UK, the Competition & Markets Authority passed judgement on April 26, announcing it would block the deal over concerns about the cloud gaming market. This came despite Microsoft’s 10-year licensing deals with its own rivals in the market such as Nvidia, Ubitus, and Boosteroid.
Microsoft’s blockbuster buyout of the Call of Duty company has already been approved in a number of places, including Japan, Saudi Arabia, and Serbia. In New Zealand, a decision from the country’s Commerce Commission is due on June 9. In the US, the FTC is set to host its first evidentiary hearing on August 2, 2023, so this case could take a while.
The $68.7 billion that Microsoft has agreed to pay for Activision Blizzard represents the biggest buyout in video game history–by far–and one of the largest acquisitions by purchase price of all time, across all industries, around the world.
In other news, EA’s CEO has commented on Microsoft’s proposed bid to buy Activision Blizzard, saying it doesn’t matter to them.
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