Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard Acquisition Gets Green Light from Japan’s Competition Regulator
Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) approves the mega-deal, stating it will not significantly restrain competition in any particular fields of trade.
Microsoft has crossed another major hurdle in its bid to acquire Activision Blizzard, as Japan’s competition regulator, the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC), announced its approval of the $69 billion deal. In a statement, the JFTC explained that it had reviewed the transaction and found it unlikely to restrain competition in any particular field of trade.
The JFTC’s statement is a significant win for Microsoft, which has been working to convince regulatory authorities worldwide that the acquisition would not be anti-competitive. The regulator added that the deal falls under the safe harbor criteria for vertical business combinations and that other platforms would have no supply constraints.
The decision from the Japanese regulator comes on the heels of a similar update from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which recently revised its provisional findings. The CMA now believes that the acquisition will not significantly reduce competition in the console gaming space, alleviating some of the concerns surrounding the deal.
To secure approval for the acquisition, Microsoft has promised to make each new Call of Duty game available on PlayStation the same day it comes to Xbox for a 10-year period, ensuring full content and feature parity. To further assuage concerns about the merger’s potential impact on the cloud gaming market, Microsoft has also announced several deals to bring Call of Duty to third-party cloud gaming platforms should the acquisition be approved.
With the JFTC’s approval, Microsoft moves one step closer to completing its acquisition of Activision Blizzard. However, the deal is still awaiting the CMA’s final report, which will be released by April 26. If approved, the acquisition is expected to strengthen Microsoft’s position in the gaming industry and bolster its offerings on the Xbox platform and beyond.