Saudi Arabia First to Approve The Microsoft/Activision Blizzard Acquisition Deal

Microsoft is seeking to acquire Activision Blizzard for 65 billion dollars. Though the deal is in the final stages of acquisition, it appears the agreement needs to be first approved by regulatory authorities. With that said, Saudi Arabia is the first nation to approve the merger between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard.

Saudi Arabia Approves Microsoft and Activision Blizzard Deal

The regulatory authority known as the General Authority for Competition went ahead and okayed the approval for the acquisition, thus, allowing the deal to proceed as intended, at least in Saudi Arabia for that matter.

The recent development was revealed by a renowned industry watcher that goes by the name of Klobrille, who took notice of the announcement from the General Authority of Competition. He stated on Twitter that Saudi Arabia is the first regulatory authority to approve the Xbox/Activision Blizzard acquisition deal.

While this move on behalf of Saudi Arabia seems to surprise the industry, the deal is still expected to go as planned and complete at some point in the month of August, and even in the United States, for that matter. For now, the deal is still being reviewed by the Federal Trade Commission.

It seems that Saudi Arabia has literally no objections to finalizing the merger process between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard. While the official announcement was made sometime earlier, the General Authority for Competition decided to reach out to the world via Twitter.

“The General Authority for Competition announces that it has no objection to completing the merger process between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard.” – General Authority of Competition

Sony Tries to Hinder Microsoft Activision Blizzard Deal Plus Problems Over at Activision

Sony also had some of its own set of views on the matter. The company argued that Microsoft was taking this acquisition step to make the gaming industry anti-competitive for them despite holding a major share of the gaming industry.

We know that Game Pass for the Xbox holds much greater value in terms of games to subscription fees. The live service provides a plethora of game options, whether it be new or old, for a small fee of 10 dollars a month. With the acquisition of a number of big studios under its belt, Microsoft can easily add whatever games it wants to its Game Pass service.

Thus, limiting Sony’s own selection of titles in the process. With the inclusion of Activision Blizzard to the roster, Sony might just lose a select number of titles for its own service and lose possible partnership opportunities with the company. 

But Microsoft has legally and rightfully proceeded in this situation and made claims against Sony as well. The company claims that Sony has been working against Microsoft’s back, trying to hinder its Game Pass Subscription service.

Microsoft claims that Sony has been bribing game studios discreetly so as to not include their titles in the Game Pass subscription service, and that is definitely not legal.

Microsoft claims that Sony is crying wolf at a critical stage of the acquisition process to delay or even halt the process. This is because Sony knows all too well that its own PlayStation Subscription service doesn’t hold the bang for the buck that Game Pass does.

But that’s not the only scandal going on involving this scenario. This news comes in the wake of an ongoing workplace scandal over at Activision Blizzard, where employees have reported instances of workplace abuse and misconduct over at Activision Blizzard.

In the event of the acquisition being completed, Microsoft has promised to make the required changes to fix the issue as a whole, but the situation still stands. Employees of the company have been aggressively pushing for protection in the form of a union.

The President over at Microsoft described how the company wishes to tackle this issue, and it’s via the implementation of a new set of rules around employee organization and the way they’ll interact with the employees, stakeholders and labour organizations, holding vital dialogues in regards to work.

“new set of principles around employee organizing and how we will engage with our employees, labor organizations, and other important stakeholders in critical conversations around work.” – Brad Smith

Brad Smith also stated that the situation would never come to the point where the employees would have to organize wide-scale dialogues under Microsoft’s leadership. Microsoft has acknowledged the current workplace situation and how it’s changing. This is why they’re sharing a new set of rules in their guide to approach the aforementioned labour organizations at Activision Blizzard.

“our employees will never need to organize to have a dialogue with Microsoft’s leaders. But we also recognize the workplace is changing. That’s why we are sharing principles to guide our approach with labor organizations.” – Brad Smith

Smith agreed that Activision Blizzard needs to learn a lot when it comes to dealing with employees and that Microsoft will partake in collaborative and creative approaches with the Unions, which is a lot in contrast to Activision ignoring the whole scenario.

We recognize that employees have a legal right to choose whether to form or join a union. We respect this right and do not believe that our employees or the company’s other stakeholders benefit by resisting lawful employee efforts to participate in protected activities, including forming or joining a union.”

And that’s a wrap for today’s news on Saudi Arabia approving the Microsoft and Activision Blizzard Acquisition Deal. Should Microsoft get their hands on Activision Blizzard or not? Let us know in the comments below. We upload daily on Appuals, so stay tuned for more. Till then, see you later and goodbye!

Naseer Abbas
Naseer has been interested in PCs and videogames since his childhood. If he isn't busy playing retro shooters, he's tinkering with emulators or learning something new.