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Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard approved in another country

What you need to know

  • Microsoft is working to acquire Activision Blizzard for almost $69 billion. 
  • The deal is undergoing regulatory review in a number of countries. 
  • Chile is the latest country to approve the purchase, saying there are no concerns for reduced competition. 
  • Other countries still need to approve the purchase, and Microsoft will be fighting the FTC in the U.S, which is seeking to stop the deal.

While Microsoft’s biggest purchase ever is continuing to be evaluated by authorities around the world, one more country has approved the deal. 

Chile regulator Fiscalía Nacional Económica (FNE) approved Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard on Thursday. In the press release, the regulator explained that with other big third-party companies such as Electronic Arts, Epic Games, Ubisoft, and others, there was still plentiful competition. 

“As other responsible regulators review the facts, we expect more approvals like this one,” said Lulu Cheng Meservey (opens in new tab), EVP of corporate affairs at Activision Blizzard.

The deal, worth almost $69 billion, has a ways to go before it can finalize. Chile joins a handful of countries that have also approved the deal, including Brazil, Saudi Arabia, and Serbia. Microsoft still needs clearance from numerous countries and many regulators are currently in the final phases of examining the deal, including the European Commission and the CMA in the U.K. Microsoft has also been challenged in the U.S. by the FTC, which is seeking to block the deal. 

This decision has drawn the condemnation of labor groups like the Communication Workers of America (CWA) and AFL-CIO, which have asked for the deal to continue as more and more Activision Blizzard studios unionize. The CWA is also overseeing the unionization of over 300 Bethesda Softworks workers, with Microsoft confirmed to remain neutral during the proceedings.

Windows Central’s take

Additional approvals are good for Microsoft in adding pressure and precedent but ultimately, Chile is not a very large country and this deal still has a ways to go. 

What’s more interesting here is the comment from Meservey, who seems to indicate that a few more regulatory decisions are imminent. If that’s the case, and the European Commission, CMA, or others approve, it adds to Microsoft’s resolve, and the company will definitely fight (and almost certainly win) against the FTC in court, so long as the FTC is the only major opposition.

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