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Microsoft's Acquisition of Activision Blizzard Approved by Japan Fair Trade Commission

The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) announced its approval of Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard, stating that the deal will not cause substantial harm to competition. This decision follows the recent approval of the acquisition by the British antitrust watchdog, Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which also determined that the deal would not harm competition in the game console market.

The JFTC's decision is a significant victory for Microsoft, as the acquisition has faced scrutiny from regulators in several countries, including the European Union, the United Kingdom, the United States, and South Korea. The deal has already been approved by regulators in Brazil, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Chile, and Serbia, with rumors suggesting that Chinese regulators will also support the acquisition.

Sony SIE, a major competitor of Microsoft in the game console market, has expressed concerns that the acquisition would give Microsoft an unfair advantage. However, the JFTC's decision indicates that these concerns did not have a substantial impact on their decision.

EU and UK CMAs Still Need to Make Final Ruling

While the approval from the JFTC is a significant step forward for Microsoft, the company still needs to receive approval from the European Union and UK CMAs, which is not expected until the end of April. The CMA has expressed concerns about the nascent cloud market, but Microsoft has already signed 10-year deals with companies like NVIDIA GeForce NOW, Boosteroid, and Ubitus, indicating their willingness to bring all of their games, including those from Activision Blizzard, to the cloud.

US Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) Uncertain Attitude

The attitude of the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) towards the acquisition is still uncertain, with the agency currently suing Microsoft in an attempt to block the acquisition. However, users generally believe that the FTC cannot win the case, as the agency has previously admitted that the lawsuit is only to prove its point, even if they know that they cannot win the case.

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