Microsoft’s merger with Activision Blizzard King has been approved in another market. On April 17 the Competition Commission of South Africa announced that it “has recommended that the Competition Tribunal approve the proposed transaction whereby Anchorage intends to acquire Activision, without conditions.” (Anchorage is a Microsoft subdivision operating in South Africa).
In its press release the Commission also stated that,
The Commission found that the proposed transaction is unlikely to result in significant foreclosure concerns
as the parties do not have the ability and incentive to foreclose competing game distributors, particularly
Sony (Playstation) and Nintendo (Switch). Furthermore, the merging parties have made undertakings to
continue supplying Call of Duty games to other console manufacturers.
Therefore, the Commission found that the proposed transaction is unlikely to result in a substantial
prevention or lessening of competition in any relevant markets. The Commission further found that the
proposed transaction does not raise any substantial public interest concerns.
South Africa follows in the footsteps of five other countries to approve the Activision Blizzard deal. These include Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Chile, Serbia and most recently, Japan. While the U.K. CMA has provisionally concluded that the Activision Blizzard deal will not ultimately harm competition, it has until April 26 to issue its final report. And over in the U.S. the FTC is suing to block the deal, with the trial beginning in August.