Since its announcement, the $68.7 billion Microsoft-Activision merger has been through many ups and downs. Over a year later, the deal has not been completed because of issues with regulatory bodies, but Microsoft has almost crossed the finish line.
Why it matters: New Zealand was among the remaining countries that had not shared a final verdict. This approval ensures Microsoft is another step closer to completing the acquisition.
After the recent case decision against the FTC, this approval from New Zealand marks yet another victory for Microsoft. This approval raises the total number of countries approving the deal to 41.
The CMA and FTC have been two of the major obstacles for Microsoft. Both regulatory agencies opposed the merger and hoped to stop it at all costs, believing it would be anti-competitive.
However, Microsoft is now free to proceed with the $68.7 billion acquisition after Xbox won the case against the FTC. Following the verdict, the CMA has begun talks with the gaming giant, hoping to reach a middle-ground for the merger.
While Sony had been against the merger since its announcement, the gaming giant recently signed a 10-year contract with Microsoft for Call of Duty. Despite its intentions, Sony did not have much choice after the FTC’s loss against Microsoft.
Following New Zealand’s approval, only a few regions, like the UK, remain undecided. However, talks with the CMA are underway, and the merger is all but confirmed to be completed this year.
Things have been quite troublesome for Microsoft since the gaming giant decided to purchase Activision Blizzard. The deal was announced on January 18 last year, but the drawn-out saga is quickly reaching its conclusion.
Therefore, Microsoft is expected to become the owner of Activision Blizzard and all of its IPs before the end of 2023.
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Avinash is currently pursuing a Business degree in Australia. For more than three years, he has been working as a gaming journalist, utilizing his writing skills and love for gaming to report on the latest updates in the industry. Avinash loves to play action games like Devil May Cry and has also been mentioned on highly regarded websites, such as IGN, GamesRadar, GameRant, Dualshockers, CBR, and Gamespot.