Microsoft's Acquisition of Activision Blizzard Approved by South Africa Without Conditions

Published: July 3, 2023 11:35 AM /


Microsoft Activision Blizzard Acquisition Art

While the legal battle between the FTC and Microsoft about the proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard is about to see its climax with a verdict coming soon, on the other side of the ocean another regulator joined the large group of countries that sees no issue with the merger. 

The Competition Tribunal of South Africa announced today that it approves the acquisition without conditions. The reasons for the decisions have not yet been published and they will be revealed "in due course."

This brings the number of countries that officially cleared the acquisition to 39 following the approval of the deal by the European Union including proposed remedies to level the competitive playing field on the cloud market, which Microsoft agreed to. Recently, the merger was approved by the Chinese authority, by South Korea's regulator

In the other camp, the FTC has recently obtained a temporary restraining order against the acquisition and a federal court held a hearing to decide on the possible preliminary injunction. You can read our summaries of the first daysecond day, third day, and fourth day (Bobby Kotick and Satya Nadella's testimonies) of the hearing. A verdict on the preliminary injunction is possibly coming this week, and many believe that it'll make or break the deal. 

The British CMA also decided to block the merger, and Microsoft is appealing against the decision at the local Competition Appeals Tribunal to try and get it reversed. The substantive hearing for the appeal is scheduled to start on July 28 and the regulator tried to get it delayed to October, but the CAT rejected that request.

While New Zealand expressed doubts about the deal and Canada expressed its disapproval with a letter, neither has formally moved to block the acquisition yet. 


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