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Japan Approves Microsoft's Activision Blizzard Acquisition

Japan Approves Microsoft's Activision Blizzard Acquisition - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 28 March 2023 / 4,623 Views

The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) announced it has no issues with Microsoft's Activision Blizzard acquisition and it will not be blocking the deal. 

It determined that the "conduct of this case would not substantially restrain competition in certain fields of trade," said the JFTC via Google Translate. The JFTC added "that a cease and desist order would not be issued" and its review has been completed.

The JFTC stated the deal didn't violate any anti-competition legislature and it the merger "falls under the safe harbor criteria for vertical business combinations."

"There are competing businesses, and games are distributed in digital format, so it is unlikely that there will be a shortage of supply capacity," added the JFTC.

"Therefore, the acquisition would not substantially restrain competition in any particular fields of trade."

The acquisition has also been confirmed to have been approved in ChileBrazilSaudi Arabia, and Serbia.

The deal still needs approval in the US, UK, European Union, and in more countries. 

Microsoft has submitted remedies to the European Union regulator, the European Commission, which has since extended its deadline from April 25 to May 22. 

The UK regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), has recently published an addendum to its provisional findings saying it has received new evidence that has led it to conclude that if the acquisition is approved it won't significantly lessen competition in the video game console market in the UK. The new evidence shows that Microsoft would lose significant money if it were to make Call of Duty exclusive to Xbox consoles and this would incentivize Microsoft to continue to release Call of Duty games on PlayStation consoles.

Microsoft has recently announced it has signed multiple 10-year deals to bring Xbox games on PC to three cloud streaming services - Nvidia's GeForce NowBoosteroid, and Ubitus. Microsoft has also signed a 10-year deal with Nintendo to release Call of Duty on Nintendo consoles on day one with full content parity.


A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012 and taking over the hardware estimates in 2017. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel. You can contact the author on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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12 Comments
aTokenYeti (on 28 March 2023)

Remaining jurisdictions, if I am remembering correctly:

US
UK
EU
China
Canada
New Zealand

Based on the latest news and information

Expected to approve: EU, China, Canada, New Zealand
Leaning approve: UK
Expected to fight in court: US

Special note on the US: Microsoft is legally capable of closing the deal even if the FTC in the US sues to block. The FTC does not have an legal authority to block deals, only federal judges can, which means until and unless the FTC wins a court case the deal cannot be stopped in the US

  • +8
VAMatt aTokenYeti (on 28 March 2023)

There's no chance that the FTC will fight this in a US court. Where are you getting that idea from?

  • +2
aTokenYeti VAMatt (on 30 March 2023)

The FTC themselves. They have publicly stated they are taking on losing cases on purpose to try and achieve two things:

  1. Waste the time and resources of merging firms to try and dissuade them from merging
  2. Put pressure on lawmakers to revise anti trust law
  • 0
VAMatt aTokenYeti (on 30 March 2023)

I haven't heard that, and it's counter to the normal operation of political appointees. So I find it hard to believe. But, if you're right, then I guess it will be fun to watch the government get beat down in court.

  • -1
Libara (on 28 March 2023)

I'm surprised they did even though it is the correct decision.

  • +3
KratosLives (on 29 March 2023)

nintendo tipped them off. jk

  • 0
Azzanation (on 28 March 2023)

Straight after Congress want to investigate Sonys tactics in Japan. Bit of a Coincidence .

  • -1
2zosteven Azzanation (on 28 March 2023)

im sure thats all it is!

  • 0
ClassicGamingWizzz (on 28 March 2023)

Perfect timing 😆

  • -8
tslog (on 28 March 2023)
  • -16