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China authorizes the purchase of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft. Does this change anything?

If we measure the importance of the authorizations by the volume of the markets they represent, Microsoft should be quite happy at this point, as the Chinese regulator has authorized, without restrictions, Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard . According to the United Nations Organization (UN), the average number of inhabitants of the Asian giant for this 2023 will be 1,425.7 million inhabitants, only behind India, with its 1,428.6 million, also an estimated average for this year. .

The approval, which has been confirmed by Microsoft to IGN , translates into a new green traffic light on a huge avenue, which could eventually surpass Yonge Street, which metaphorically represents the process started at the beginning of last year, and which at least once moment still does not point to a clear ending . And it is that there are already many traffic lights that show a green light, but traffic has been complicated not with a red light, but with a cut for works with no expected completion date, and an amber light that, coincidentally, affects one of the most important sections of the road.

The acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft has already obtained no less than 37 yeses from regulators around the world , including what until now was the most recent and one of the most symbolic, that of the European Union . However, let’s remember that a few weeks ago the British CMA decided to block the agreement , and that we are still waiting for the US FTC to rule on the matter, something that will presumably happen in August. A decision that, most likely, will be key in how this process ends.

China authorizes the purchase of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft. Does this change anything?

Thus, pending the pronouncement of the FTC and the evolution of the processes opened by Microsoft in the United Kingdom to try to reverse the decision of the CMA, the approval by China can be considered an important boost , and that could push those of Redmond to go ahead with the purchase, even if that means giving up the British market, something that we already told you a few days ago . However, it is true that the size of the Chinese market is gigantic, but we must not forget that its regulations and particularities are also gigantic.

Both Microsoft and Activision Blizzard are US companies, and for which their local markets are very important, so it seems very unlikely that the transaction could be completed if their local regulator ruled against it. There has been quite a bit of noise about it in recent months, including accusations of the FTC activating for dark reasons, but the only thing that is clear right now is that both companies might be willing to go ahead, even giving up the UK. , so it is increasingly evident that the last word will be put by the FTC or, failing that, the courts that have to rule on their future decision.

Thus, responding to the question with which this news item began, “yes, but”. The decision of the Chinese regulator clears the way to a purchase operation despite the British refusal, since the scope of the resulting global market has grown substantially , while a refusal would have been a huge setback for those plans. However, it does not aim to be a decision that is decisive in the yes or no, since that can be attributed, practically exclusively, to the US FTC.


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