Microsoft’s legal department has been hard at work across the globe working on their acquisition of Activison Blizzard. The first domino in the acquisition has fallen, as Saudi Arabia has approved of the merger. The announcement was posted on Twitter by the GAC, Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Competition, and states that there is “no objection” to the completion of the merger (according to Twitter’s translation).
— الهيئة العامة للمنافسة (@SaudiGAC) August 21, 2022
Whilst this is only the first official approval of the merger by global competition authorities, it does set precedent. We already know about Sony and Microsoft battling in the Brazilian competition authority, as was reported by us here at GameLuster earlier this month. We may know the next steps on this merger journey, coming to us from Install Base (big thanks to user SoonyXboneUh).
On Sept. 1, the United Kingdom is expected to either approve the merger or declare it harmful for competition, in which case a second phase of investigation will begin. The following day on Sept. 2, New Zealand should follow with its decision, as it was already delayed. A few weeks after that, Australia may release a decision on Sept. 15, but this could be delayed also. The FTC in the United States has already entered the second phase, and it’s unknown when we will hear the result.
After all that, the final major hurdle is the European Commission, for which there’s no timeline information yet. Whilst the deal is being looked at across the globe, the four biggest market competition bodies that this ruling hinges on, according to the folks over at MLex Market Insight, are China, the EU, UK and US.
Now all we can do is wait, as we will likely see more of these approval rulings coming through over the next few weeks and months. For more updates on the Microsoft-Activision merger, keep your eyes on GameLuster.