Brazil approves Activision Blizzard deal, says its job isn't to protect "specific competitors"

Activision Blizzard
(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

A Brazilian governmental regulator is the next to approve Microsoft's purchase of Activision Blizzard, soundly rejecting arguments from Sony that the deal is anti-competitive.

Back in August, Saudi Arabia became the first governmental body to approve Microsoft's Activision Blizzard buyout, and now Brazil is following suit. In a lengthy filing published to the website for Brazil's Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE), the regulator revealed that it had approved the merger free of restrictions. In doing so, it acknowledged the possibility that Microsoft owning Activision Blizzard could have a negative impact on PlayStation's business, particularly if Microsoft decides to make big series like Call of Duty exclusive to Xbox, bug it makes several arguments about why that shouldn't keep the deal from going through.

In its conclusion (machine-translated), CADE argued that "despite Microsoft having control of a relevant portion of the console and digital game distribution markets, the company would not have incentives to make it difficult for publishers competing with Activision Blizzard to access its platforms, as this would necessarily imply a reduction in quantity and variety of the catalog of games available in the Xbox ecosystem, making the company's products and services less attractive to consumers."

Citing Call of Duty specifically, CADE then argued that Activision Blizzard games aren't necessary to the success of Xbox's competitors. This echoes a defense Microsoft itself made in August.

"Despite their relevance and popularity, Activision Blizzard games – and in particular the Call of Duty series– would not be essential assets to the performance of Microsoft's current and potential competitors in the console and digital game distribution markets."

In apparent dig at Sony, CADE pointed out that "the central objective of CADE's activities is the protection of competition as a means of promoting the well-being of Brazilian consumers, and not the defense of the particular interests of specific competitors."

Ultimately, while Xbox having exclusive games from Activision Blizzard could cause folks to switch from PlayStation to Xbox, CADE didn't see "a risk to competition in the console market as a whole."

Microsoft's proposed $68 billion purchase of Activision Blizzard has also been under scrutiny by US and UK regulators, who have yet to rule on the merger. 

Here's what Microsoft's latest acquisition could mean for Activision Blizzard and Xbox Game Studios.

Jordan Gerblick

After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked as a copy editor while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG on the side. Now, as GamesRadar's west coast Staff Writer, I'm responsible for managing the site's western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I'm too afraid to finish.