Saudi Arabia has become the first country to approve Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, according to Klobrille on Twitter. Embedded in their tweet on the matter was a post from Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Competition, which had said it had no objection to approving the acquisition. The approval now means that Microsoft won’t have any issues selling Activision Blizzard games in the country in the future.
When asked by another Twitter user why Saudi Arabia had to approve the deal, Klobrille responded that every country where Microsoft wants to sell Activision Blizzard products in, has to approve the acquisition. If any countries have an issue, Microsoft will likely have more discussions with authorities, make compromises and go to court if necessary. Ultimately, if nothing works, an individual country could block products in its country.
The news that Microsoft was buying Activision Blizzard was announced in January. The Windows maker said it would be paying $68.7 billion in cash for the company. America’s FTC has been looking into the acquisition since the end of January and its decisions will likely be crucial to Microsoft, as the U.S. is the biggest market for the products Microsoft wants to sell.
In February, Microsoft was expecting the deal to be closed in 2023, but if regulators take too much time, this process could be slowed down. It’s certain to be intensely scrutinized because Microsoft already has a large gaming presence through Xbox, and Activision Blizzard has control of lots of popular titles including Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Candy Crush.