JFTC Microsoft Deal

Japan’s Fair Trade Commission Approves Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard Purchase

The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) has approved Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard after its investigation confirmed that the acquisition (per VGC) was “unlikely to result in substantially restraining competition.”

Publishing a statement on the acquisition, the JFTC says that “The Japan Fair Trade Commission reviewed the transaction and reached the conclusion that the transaction is unlikely to result in substantially restraining competition in any particular fields of trade,” as published on the regulatory body’s website.

To further alleviate concerns, the JFTC also said the deal doesn’t violate any rules and that “the integration falls under the safe harbour criteria for vertical business combinations.”

Sony has been vocal about the perceived catastrophic deal Microsoft has pursued for the last 15 months going so far as to pursue regulators across the UK, US, and abroad citing that the deal would harm Sony as it could potentially lose out on Call of Duty. Furthermore, the JFTC says that this deal wouldn’t cause supply issues on any other platform, “There are competing businesses, and games are distributed in digital format, so it is unlikely that there will be a shortage of supply capacity.”

The published document ends by saying that “Therefore, the acquisition would not substantially restrain competition in any particular fields of trade.”

Last week, the Competition and Market Authority released a statement saying that one of the concerns it had regarding the Activision Blizzard acquisition is no longer a concern. “The CMA has received a significant amount of new evidence in response to its original provisional findings. Having considered this new evidence carefully, together with the wide range of information gathered before those provisional findings were issued, the CMA inquiry group has updated its provisional findings and reached the provisional conclusion that, overall, the transaction will not result in a substantial lessening of competition in relation to console gaming in the UK,” the statement read.

There are still several hurdles facing Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard but it feels like the entire saga is a few steps closer to being done.