The Japan Fair Trade Commission has reviewed the Microsoft Activision deal and has approved the merger. The regulatory body states that it is “unlikely to result in substantially restraining competition” in the country. The number of countries that have approved Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard now includes Japan, Serbia, Chile, Brazil, and Saudi Arabia.
Approval of Microsoft Activision merger continues to build momentum
It might seem that Sony’s country of origin having no problem with the merger would add to Microsoft’s case. But it’s really not too surprising that the JFTC came to this conclusion given the dominant position of both Sony and Nintendo in the Japanese market compared to Xbox. This is primarily why the regulator, as revealed by a press release, will “not issue a cease and desist order” on the proposed Microsoft Activision deal.
It also looks more likely that the merger will be approved in the UK, where it has faced a lot of scrutiny by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). In a provisional ruling, the CMA says that the additional evidence it has seen suggests that Microsoft would incur significant losses if it were to make Call of Duty exclusive to Xbox platforms.
That said, further investigation of the deal by the CMA will continue until a final report is released on April 26. Japan’s approval of the deal in addition to this provisional ruling are welcome news for Microsoft as it continues to seek approval of the deal from the US Federal Trade Commission.