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Microsoft + Bethesda Deal Approved by EU & USA Regulatory Agencies


The Microsoft/Bethesda $7.5 billion deal has been approved by both the European Union and United States of America regulatory agencies.

Last Friday, the USA’s SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) published a notice of effectiveness under Microsoft. This is a public declaration by the Securities and Exchange Commission that a public company’s registration statement has been accepted. While the notice does not mention Bethesda outright, we know that it concerns this particular deal because on the same day a prospectus document (SEC Form 424B3) was published as well. SEC Form 424B3 is an amendment to the original registration prospectus and this document clearly lists the registration fee to $7.5 billion.

Spencer: Bethesda Acquisition Is on Track to Be Completed in 2021, Our RPG Capability Will Be Massive Then

Today, the website of the European Commission was also updated with a decision on this merger case. The decision references Art. 6(1)(b) of the EC Merger Regulation, which is essentially a non-opposition.

Where it finds that the concentration notified, although falling within the scope of this Regulation, does not raise serious doubts as to its compatibility with the common
market, it shall decide not to oppose it and shall declare that it is compatible with the common market. A decision declaring a concentration compatible shall be deemed to cover restrictions directly related and necessary to the implementation of the concentration.

It is unclear if this means we should expect a public announcement by Microsoft and Bethesda coming up shortly. Recent rumors indicated that the Xbox company might be preparing some sort of celebratory event for the occasion; after all, it is not every day that a company gets to add the likes of Bethesda and all of its IPs, from Elder Scrolls to Doom, to its portfolio.

Similarly, we’ll have to see how the ongoing lawsuit against Bethesda’s parent company Zenimax centered on Fallout 4’s Creation Club is affected by the merger going through. The plaintiffs reportedly tried to get a judge to halt the deal and preserve the assets through a preliminary injunction.



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