The Competition Committee of South Africa has approved the merger of Xbox and Activision Blizzard. In a document released on 17 April, the CCSA says it held discussed the possible implications of the deal during a meeting on 11 April and has ruled in favour of the acquisition. In addition, upon further investigation, the commission found that the deal will unlikely result in significant foreclosure concerns to the direct competition involved – Sony PlayStation and Nintendo.
The document released to the press says that the CCSA found that the proposed transaction does not raise any substantial public interest concerns. It also believes that Microsoft has made undertakings to continue supplying Call of Duty games to other console manufacturers.
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The CCSA does mention the main concern which was previously raised in the merger. Of course, this relates to the restriction of Call of Duty to the Xbox console. The document also details the previous allegations which saw a third party (we all know who) accuse Microsoft of undermining the ability of its user base to play Call of Duty on its platform. The commission doesn’t believe the deal will lessen the competition in the relevant markets by any degree.
The Competition Committee of South Africa’s approval joins the likes of Japan and other countries which recently gave the green light to the controversial Microsoft deal. The merger has been in the news for over a year now and has sparked console war debates online as well as some so-called “childish” behaviour from the companies involved in the industry.
The main approval will go to court in May and the CMA’s hearing is set to kick off this week. Hopefully, by June we will finally be able to put all of this Xbox Activision drama to bed.