In what is sure to be welcome news for Xbox fans, the European Commission has approved the Microsoft Bethesda deal. While this does not signify the closing of the deal yet, it is an important final step before the two companies merge.
The decision, made on March 5th but only made public today, explains that the case fits the criteria of Article 6(1)(b) of the EU Merger Regulation that outlines that “the concentration does not raise serious doubts as to its compatibility with the common market.” What this means, in laymen’s terms, is that the merger is good to go on the EU’s ends!
To paint a picture of what this may lead to, Microsoft’s prior deals tended to close anywhere from within a few hours to a little under two weeks after the European Commission’s approval, with the exception of their acquisition of Nokia’s mobile business unit.
Now, again, the decision itself is not a done-deal until Microsoft makes this info public, but given recent teases such as a recent SEC filing outlining the issuing of notes totalling 7.5 billion dollars, a change to the website of Zenimax minority shareholder Providence Equity, and a recent tease on the Major Nelson podcast of “special things” this week, there is some smoke that this deal may end sooner rather than later.
The acquisition of Bethesda by Microsoft has been a hot topic for debate since the announcement almost six months ago. It remains to be seen what their plans are regarding exclusivity, but rest assured, once this deal closes, we should get more answers soon. One thing is absolutely for certain though, Xbox fans have a lot to look forward to in this coming generation.
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