The Japan Fair Trade Commission has approved of Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard. While the dispute is still ongoing with the FTC overseas, Japan were quick to approve of the Microsoft Activision deal, stating that the acquisition is “unlikely to result in substantially restraining competition” in the country.
Japan joins a list of countries to approve of Microsoft’s acquisition including Serbia, Chile, Brazil and Saudi Arabia. This shouldn’t come as a surprise considering that PlayStation and Nintendo are the more dominant companies in Japan with Xbox trailing far behind. This is probably why the JFTC refused to issue a cease and desist order ruling against Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard in the first place.
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Despite Xbox’s push to partner with more Japanese gaming developers and publishers, PlayStation and Nintendo still hold the lion’s share of Japanese-published titles over the west. It’s safe to assume that the acquisition wouldn’t hurt the Japanese gaming market too much, especially given that several of Activision Blizzard’s biggest IPs have stronger footholds outside of Japan.
It looks like the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is moving closer to approving the Microsoft Activision deal as well. However, the regulator previously ruled that Microsoft would incur significant losses if it were to make Call of Duty exclusive to Xbox platforms. To mitigate that issue, Xbox announced that it would be partnering with Nintendo to bring new Call of Duty releases to Nintendo’s consoles in the future. PlayStation was also given the same offer for a 10-year deal.
Further investigations by the CMA will continue until it presents its final verdict on 26 April. Meanwhile, Microsoft struggles to seek approval from the US Federal Trade Commission where it’s been an uphill battle against Sony’s opposition. The US FTC’s final report is also expected to appear in the coming weeks.