News about Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard has consistently managed to find its way into the headlines ever since it was first announced back in January 2022. Although initially it seemed like Microsoft was facing insurmountable odds due to stiff resistance from Sony and antitrust regulators, the tides have finally started turning in the Redmond tech firm's favor recently.
Japan's antitrust watchdog, the Japan Fair Trade Commission, has announced that it does not believe that Microsoft's purchase of Activision Blizzard will have detrimental effects on the competition. The regulator has also notified other companies that it will not be issuing a cease-and-desist order against the acquisition and its review of the process is complete. This decision is particularly interesting because it implies that Sony's efforts to block the deal, even in its home country, have been unsuccessful.
With this decision, Japan has joined the growing list of regulators who have approved of the transaction. Brazil and Saudi Arabia gave their blessing a few months ago, and just recently, UK's watchdog Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) gave a provisional ruling regarding the console market in Microsoft's favor too. However, the CMA will still assess the impact of the acquisition on the cloud gaming market, with Microsoft trying to assuage potential concerns by signing 10-year Call of Duty distribution deals with cloud gaming firms like Nvidia, Boosteroid, and Japan's Ubitus.
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