European Commission to vote on Microsoft’s acquisition of ZeniMax
The European Commision is set to rule on Microsoft’s 7.5 billion dollar acquisition of ZeniMax Media. Microsoft’s acquisition of ZeniMax is meant to strengthen their position in the video game industry, which is why the EU will have a competition-based ruling by March 2021.
The EU is an independent executive arm that proposes and enforces laws, allocates funding and represents its countries in international affairs. According to a filing on the EU’s website, Microsoft requested the approval of the EU on the 29th of January this year. The commission’s antitrust regulators can approve the deal during the preliminary review stage, or can choose to start a wide-scaled investigation. Such an investigation may lead to some compromises from Microsoft. When Facebook bought WhatsApp in February 2014, for instance, the company had to promise that it wouldn’t share any data in order to complete the acquisition.
ZeniMax is the parent company of Bethesda, Arkane Studios and other developers. Which means that future games from these studios might release exclusively for Xbox, which is how Microsoft aims to boost its arsenal of first-party titles. Bethesda is known for popular franchises like The Elder Scrolls, Fallout and Doom.