EU and USA Regulatory Bodies Approve Microsoft+Bethesda Deal

Microsoft’s acquisition of Bethesda for a $7.5 billion deal has been approved by both the European Union (EU) and United States of America regulatory agencies.

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Last Friday, under Microsoft’s name, the USA’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) published a notice of effectiveness. This is SEC’s public declaration that a public company’s registration statement has been accepted. While the notice does not mention Bethesda outright, according to a report by WCCFTECH, it is all but sure that it concerns this particular deal because a prospectus document (SEC Form 424B3) was published as well on the same day. The prospectus document SEC Form 424B3 is an amendment to the original registration prospectus and the registration fee of $7.5 billion was clearly listed in this document.

Today, the European Commission’s website was also updated with a decision on this merger case. The decision references Article 6(1)(b) of the European Commission Merger Regulation, which is essentially a non-opposition.

“Where it finds that the concentration notified, although falling within the scope of this Regulation, does not raise serious doubts as to its compatibility with the common

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market, it shall decide not to oppose it and shall declare that it is compatible with the common market. A decision declaring a concentration compatible shall be deemed to cover restrictions directly related and necessary to the implementation of the concentration.”

However, it is still unclear if this means we can expect a public announcement by Microsoft and Bethesda in the near future. A recent rumor-mill indicated that the Xbox makers might be preparing some sort of celebratory event for the acquisition; after all, it is not every day that the likes of Bethesda and all of its IPs, from Elder Scrolls to Doom, are added to a company’s portfolio.

Similarly, with the merger going through, we have to see how it affects the ongoing lawsuit against Bethesda’s parent company Zenimax centered on Fallout 4’s Creation Club. The plaintiffs, through a preliminary injunction, reportedly tried to get a judge to halt the deal and preserve the assets.

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