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Japan approves Microsoft-Activision merger without conditions

Japan's Fair Trade Commission has cleared and approved the Microsoft-Activision merger without conditions, asserts it will not impact competition.

Japan approves Microsoft-Activision merger without conditions
1 minute & 58 seconds read time

The Microsoft-Activision merger has been approved without conditions by Japan's Fair Trade Commission (JFTC), the agency today announced.

Japan approves Microsoft-Activision merger without conditions 1

Microsoft's proposed $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard King made another breakthrough as another worldwide regulator has cleared the deal. The merger has been greenlit in Japan, with the JFTC saying that the combination is "unlikely to result in substantially restraining competition in any particular fields of trade." The regulators will not issue a cease and desist order (which seems to be analogous to the FTC's move to block the merger). Japanese regulators have now completed their review of the merger.

Japan is the fifth global regulator to approve the Microsoft-Activision merger. The list of territories that have cleared and approved the deal include:

  1. Japan (JFTC) - Link
  2. Serbia (CPC) - Link
  3. Brazil (CADE) - Link
  4. Chile (FNE) - Link
  5. Saudi Arabia (GAC) - Link

The JFTC's approval is noteworthy because the region is home to both Nintendo and Sony, two of the video games industry's illustrious Big Three triumvirate that rules the console market. Microsoft does not have a noteworthy market presence in Japan so it's believed the deal is unlikely to affect the region's video games market.

Regulators like the FTC in the United States, the EC in Europe, and the CMA in the United Kingdom have yet to make official decisions on the merger. Things are reportedly looking favorable for approval in Europe, and regulators in the UK recently eliminated one of their principle worries about anti-competitive effects, however the FTC still wants to block the merger with its administrative action.

FTC regulators are currently pressuring both Microsoft and Activision-Blizzard for many more documents that have yet to be submitted as evidence during the current discovery phase of proceedings.

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Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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