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EU OKs Microsoft’s Bethesda Acquisition

 |  March 8, 2021

The European Union approved Microsoft’s US$7.5 billion acquisition of ZeniMax, the parent company of iconic video game publisher Bethesda Softworks.

The European Commission, the executive body of the EU, made the decision to clear the Microsoft-ZeniMax deal on Friday, March 5, according to an update on its merger case register. The Commission announced it found no competition concerns resulting from the takeover, reported CNBC.

Microsoft announced it would buy ZeniMax in September. It’s the biggest gaming acquisition in Microsoft’s history, eclipsing the US$2.5 billion the firm paid for Minecraft developer Mojang in 2014.

Bethesda is a household name in the video game industry, known for publishing a raft of successful game franchises including Fallout, The Elder Scrolls and Doom. Microsoft plans to push its subscription offering, Xbox Game Pass, by bringing Bethesda’s games to its extensive library of titles.

Microsoft envisions the future of gaming as an ecosystem that encompasses its Xbox consoles as well as Netflix-style subscription plans and cloud gaming. The company rolled its game streaming service xCloud to Android users in September and plans to launch it on iOS as a web app later this year.

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