Microsoft recently won another victory in its ongoing quest to get regulatory approval for its acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission recently approved the buyout, leaving Microsoft closer than ever to closing the deal.
Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard deal approved in Taiwan
Microsoft announced its plans to acquire Activision Blizzard for a record-breaking $68.7 billion all-cash deal in January 2022. However, the company first requires approval from regulatory agencies around the world.
Taiwan is the latest to approve the deal. According to the Taiwanese FTC, “this case complies with the applicable provisions of the combined handling principle and simplified operating procedures.” It also states that “the overall economic benefits are greater than the disadvantages of restricting competition.”
Regulators in Japan and the European Union approved the buyout in March and May while the US Federal Trade Commission attempted to block the acquisition. However, while those efforts are still ongoing, the FTC’s success seems unlikely given Microsoft’s legal victory in September. Taiwan’s approval leaves UK regulators as Microsoft’s final hurdle to close the deal before the fast-approaching October 18 deadline.
The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority rejected Microsoft’s initial plan in April. The British regulatory agency argued that the merger would give Microsoft too large of a share of the cloud gaming market. Microsoft offered the CMA a new proposal in August, giving Ubisoft cloud gaming rights to Activision Blizzard titles for 15 years. The CMA gave the new plan provisional approval last month but has not formally approved the merger. However, the CMA hasn’t said anything to indicate that it will not approve the deal before October 18.