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Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard Acquisition Has Been Approved In New Zealand

New Zealand... Rocks!

In a small but locally noteworthy bit of progress in Microsoft’s ongoing bid to buy out Activision Blizzard to the tune of a very nice $69 billion USD, New Zealand’s Commerce Commission has given the company their green light.

Microsoft President Brad Smith shared the news, saying “With today’s approval from New Zealand, we’re cleared to move forward with our acquisition of Activision Blizzard in 41 countries. We will continue to work to resolve outstanding concerns and bring this deal to a close.

A spokesperson from Microsoft also added, “We appreciate the thoughtful consideration by the New Zealand Competition Commerce Commission of our acquisition of Activision Blizzard and welcome their its decision to clear the deal unconditionally. This acquisition will ultimately benefit the gaming industry and gamers and we will continue to work toward closing the deal.

The full statement from the Commerce Commission can be read below:

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Both Microsoft and Activision are developers, publishers and distributors of video games for personal computer (PC), gaming consoles and mobile platforms. In addition, Microsoft produces and sells the Xbox range of video-game consoles, as well as PC hardware and peripherals, and offers cloud computing services.

In reaching its decision, the Commission focused on the importance of Activision games (such as Call of Duty, Overwatch and World of Warcraft) to New Zealand gamers, and whether Microsoft would be likely to stop rivals like Sony and NVIDIA from offering those games on consoles and on cloud platforms.

Commission Chair Dr John Small said the Commission was satisfied that the merger is unlikely to substantially lessen competition in any New Zealand market.

“While Activision games, in particular Call of Duty, are popular with New Zealand gamers, our enquiries did not find that they are likely to be ‘must have’ in order to compete with Microsoft in New Zealand.”

A public version of the written reasons for the decision will be available on the Commission’s case register in due course.