China Approves Microsoft’s Acquisition of Activision Blizzard
China has now authorized Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard. This clearance from the Chinese government is an important step in Microsoft’s ongoing effort to acquire the developer of Call of Duty and Overwatch. Brazil and the European Commission have already approved the acquisition.
In a statement released to Eurogamer, a Microsoft spokesperson reiterated the company’s goal to bring its games to more players on various devices. “China’s unconditional clearance of our acquisition of Activision Blizzard follows clearance decisions from jurisdictions such as the European Union and Japan, bringing the total to 37 countries representing more than two billion people,” it stated. “The acquisition combined with our recent commitments to the European Commission will empower consumers worldwide to play more games on more devices.”
After Microsoft’s bid to acquire Activision Blizzard was blocked by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), citing concerns over the deal’s potential impact on the cloud gaming industry. Microsoft has, however, appealed the decision. Now, all eyes are on the United States government’s Federal Trade Commission, which is also suing to block Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, arguing that this deal would enable the tech giant to monopolize the games industry.
Activision Blizzard has had a tumultuous relationship with the Chinese gaming industry, particularly after China banned several of its games, including World of Warcraft, citing detrimental effects on Chinese youth. Earlier this year, Blizzard blamed NetEase for the fact that many of its games are unplayable in China. NetEase, in return, has sued Blizzard.
Despite all the dramatics, Microsoft has proceeded to make agreements with various companies to diversify Activision Blizzard games to more people. This partnership with Nware is just the latest agreement it has signed in recent months, after making similar deals with Nintendo, Steam, Nvidia, Boosteroid, Ubitus and EE. The acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft will lead to a new era for gaming, as it aims to bring gaming to more people, applications and devices.