Microsoft’s $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard has been approved in another jurisdiction. The Chilean regulator greenlit the record deal, saying it won’t significantly affect competition in the games market.
Chile’s Fiscalia Nacional Economica (FNE) issued its ruling on December 29. During the Phase 1 proceedings, the regulator found that the Activision Blizzard acquisition won’t “substantially reduce competition considering, among other evidence, patterns and preferences of video game consumers in Chile.”
- The regulator ruled out a case where Microsoft blokcs Activision Blizzard King’s content from rival platforms.
- The FNE also conducted a survey among Chilean consumers to ensure that there won’t be too many players who would prefer Xbox over other platforms if Microsoft made Activision Blizzard games exclusive to its ecosystem.
- According to the regulator, Microsoft is already facing “competitive pressure” from other major game companies such as Epic Games, Take-Two, Sony, Nintendo, and Ubisoft.
- Call of Duty will always be less popular in Latin American than in other regions of the world, so the relevance of this franchise in Chile is still in question.
Chile has become the fourth country to approve Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, following similar rulings from regulators in Brazil, Serbia, and Saudi Arabia.
However, the deal is still under heavy scrutiny in Europe, the US, and the UK. The European Commission is now conducting an in-depth investigation into the merger, with a deadline set for March 23, 2023. The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority also has serious concerns about it, worrying it could lessen competition in the games market.
The biggest problem for Microsoft is the US Federal Trade Commission, which recently filed an antitrust lawsuit to block the $68.7 billion deal. The agency is concerned that it would enable Microsoft to suppress its rivals and make Call of Duty exclusive to its ecosystem.