Microsoft-Activision Merger Gains Unconditional Green Light in South Africa

South Africa’s Competition Commission has given its full approval to the merger of Microsoft and Activision Blizzard, marking another victory for the deal on the global stage. This approval follows earlier endorsements in Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Serbia, Chile, and Japan.

The decision by the South African Competition Commission was later upheld by the Competition Tribunal in the country, reinforcing the Commission’s initial endorsement of the merger’s compliance with competition laws and regulations.

A key concern scrutinized during the review was the likelihood of Microsoft making games such as Call of Duty exclusive to its Xbox platform. The Competition Commission, however, dismissed these worries, pointing out that Microsoft lacks both the ability and incentive to do so. The Commission emphasized that it wouldn’t make sense financially for Microsoft to exclude PlayStation from access to Call of Duty due to the platform’s substantial user base​.

To further dispel worries about platform exclusivity, Microsoft has reportedly undertaken steps and forged agreements to keep Call of Duty available on other gaming consoles in the future. For example, Microsoft and Nintendo have reached a decade-long agreement regarding Call of Duty. A similar proposal has been extended to Sony, which has yet to respond.

In its final verdict, the Commission held that the proposed merger is unlikely to result in significant prevention or lessening of competition in any relevant markets. The Commission also stated that the merger does not raise significant public interest issues.

Notably, the concern of cloud gaming, which is a focal point for regulators in the UK, was absent in South Africa’s statement, possibly due to the non-availability of cloud gaming services in the region.

This approval from South Africa’s Competition Commission arrives amid ongoing legal investigations in the US and the UK.

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Amie Gammons

A huge fan of puzzlers. Would love to experience the world and takedown on every single and upcoming game title. In the free time love to sing, follow recent game rumors and try to decrypt them in the best possible way.

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