South Africa approves Microsoft's deal to buy Activision Blizzard

The Microsoft and Activision Blizzard logos

Microsoft's proposed deal to acquire the game developer and publisher Activision Blizzard gained the official approval of another country today. South Africa's Competition Commission has revealed it has approved the $69 billion proposal.

In its press release, the Competition Commission stated:

The Commission found that the proposed transaction is unlikely to result in significant foreclosure concerns as the parties do not have the ability and incentive to foreclose competing game distributors, particularly Sony (Playstation) and Nintendo (Switch). Furthermore, the merging parties have made undertakings to continue supplying Call of Duty games to other console manufacturers.

The deal seems to echo an earlier preliminary report from the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which also feels that Microsoft would lose revenue by not releasing future Call of Duty games for Sony and Nintendo's platforms. Microsoft and Nintendo have signed an agreement to give future Nintendo console owners access to Call of Duty games for the next 10 years.

The UK will make its final decision on whether or not to approve this deal by April 26. The European Union will do the same by May 22. The US Federal Trade Commission remains perhaps the biggest obstacle to finalising this acquisition, as it filed a lawsuit to block the deal in December 2022.

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