In a significant development, China's State Administration for Market Regulation has given an unconditional nod to Microsoft's bold $69 billion acquisition bid for Activision-Blizzard, offering a crucial boost in Microsoft's pursuit of the deal. This move comes amidst an ongoing global regulatory saga, with bodies around the world deliberating on the potential ramifications this deal may have on Microsoft's competitors.
The regulatory landscape has so far been mixed. While countries like Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Chile, Japan, Serbia, South Africa, and Ukraine have already granted their approval, others have been more cautious. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in the UK outright blocked the acquisition, and the European Union has only conditionally approved the deal.
However, a considerable obstacle remains as the United States' Federal Trade Commission (FTC) continues to hold its decision in suspense. The FTC, which has previously sued Microsoft over acquisition attempts, has yet to announce its final stance on this matter.
Meanwhile, Sony, one of the key players in the gaming industry and an outspoken critic of the deal, expressed concerns over the potential impact on the future of Call of Duty games on PlayStation platforms. Sony stands firm in its opposition, even as Microsoft makes efforts to alleviate regulatory concerns.
In a bid to ensure fair competition, Microsoft has proposed offering 10-year deals for Call of Duty on various platforms, including Nvidia GeForce Now, Nintendo, Boosteroid, and Ubitus. Nevertheless, Sony has rebuffed a similar proposal, intensifying the tension surrounding the acquisition.
As the world awaits further updates, the future of the Microsoft-Activision deal teeters on the brink of uncertainty. The definitive verdict from the FTC could very well make or break this historic acquisition attempt.