Japan's FTC has ruled in favour of Microsoft's Activision Blizzard deal

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Japan's Fair Trade Commission has given the green light to Microsoft's plans to acquire Activision Blizzard.

In January last year, Microsoft announced it plans to buy Activision Blizzard to the tune of $68.7 billion. If the deal goes ahead, it will be the largest acquisition the industry has ever seen. Given its magnitude, there are a lot of hurdles that Microsoft must overcome before it can bring Activision Blizzard under its umbrella. Currently, it's being investigated by the regulatory authorities in various countries to determine whether or not it would hinder competition. Japan is the latest country to give its verdict on the proposed merger, and it's good news for Microsoft.

As spotted by The Verge's senior editor Tom Warren, Japan's Fair Trade Commission has ruled in favour of Microsoft's Activision Blizzard deal. According to a report released by the JFTC (translated on Twitter), it has concluded that the deal "would not substantially restrain competition in a certain field of trade." The commission has informed the companies that it will not issue a cease and desist order and has now brought the matter to a close. In addition to Japan, the countries that have approved the deal are Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Chile, and Serbia.

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This is the second major victory Microsoft has had regarding the Activision Blizzard deal recently, as last week, the UK's Competition Markets Authority walked back concerns over the Activision Blizzard deal. In new provisional findings published on March 24, it claims that "the transaction will not result in a substantial lessening of competition in relation to console gaming in the UK." This is all before the final ruling from the CMA is due to arrive next month on April 26.

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Anne-Marie Ostler
Freelance Writer

Originally from Ireland, I moved to the UK in 2014 to pursue a Games Journalism and PR degree at Staffordshire University. Following that, I've freelanced for GamesMaster, Games TM, Official PlayStation Magazine and, more recently, Play and GamesRadar+. My love of gaming sprang from successfully defeating that first Goomba in Super Mario Bros on the NES. These days, PlayStation is my jam. When not gaming or writing, I can usually be found scouring the internet for anything Tomb Raider related to add to my out of control memorabilia collection.