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Microsoft requests EU approval for ZeniMax acquisition

European Commission's antitrust regulators will decide by March 5

Microsoft's acquisition of Bethesda parent ZeniMax Media has reached a crucial stage: seeking permission from the EU.

The Xbox platform holder filed a request for approval with the European Commission's antitrust regulators on Friday, January 29.

The acquisition was announced back in September, and cost Microsoft a hefty $7.5 billion.

When we spoke to Bethesda Games Studios director Todd Howard in October, he said the details of the deal were still being finalised, and this filing suggests this may still be the case.

At the time of the acquisition's announcement, Xbox boss Phil Spencer said the decision as to whether Bethesda games will be released on non-Microsoft platforms will be dealt with "on a case-by-case basis."

According to Reuters, EU regulators will either approve the deal -- potentially with some concessions -- or open up a full investigation if there are antitrust concerns.

The regulators will make a decision by March 5.

The European Commission previously approved Activision's takeover of King in 2016, Tencent's purchase of Supercell in the same year, and the big Vivendi-Activision merger of 2008 that created Activision Blizzard.

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James Batchelor avatar
James Batchelor: James is Editor-in-Chief at, and has been a B2B journalist since 2006. He is author of The Best Non-Violent Video Games
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