Saudi Arabia first to approve Microsoft's Activision Blizzard deal

Sean Carey - August 22nd 2022

Saudi Arabia has approved Microsoft's $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, making it the first country to rubber-stamp the deal between the tech giant and the publisher.

As spotted on Twitter by Klobrille, Saudi Arabia's General Authority for Competition said it had "no objection" to Microsoft's buyout of Activision Blizzard, which means the deal can officially go ahead in the country.

Saudi Arabia approves Microsoft's Activision Blizzard deal

The proposed acquisition is currently under scrutiny by numerous anti-competition authorities across the world, and we should hopefully start seeing more of these regulatory bodies announce their decisions on the merger soon. We know that in the United States, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will make a decision on the deal soon, and so too will the Competition Markets Authority in the UK.

In recent weeks, we've seen Microsoft and Sony going head to head over the acquisition in Brazil. In documents submitted to Brazil's Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE), Microsoft accused Sony of paying developers to keep their games from appearing in Xbox Game Pass. Sony also claimed that Microsoft owning the Call of Duty franchise "could influence users' console choice."

Hopefully, many more regulatory bodies will follow in Saudi Arabia's wake, and we'll see a string of these approval announcements soon.