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Blizzard is Yet Again Seeking Its Way Back to China

By Xueyang
Sep. 17, 2023 updated 12:20

Blizzard is Yet Again Seeking Its Way Back to ChinaBlizzard is Yet Again Seeking Its Way Back to China

China's State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) has greenlit the Microsoft-Activision Blizzard merger, joining the EU in approving the deal. The announcement was confirmed by Activision Blizzard following a report from Seeking Alpha.

An Activision Blizzard representative expressed gratitude for the approval, stating that it was based on "facts and data." The spokesperson emphasized their commitment to the Chinese market and the potential benefits for their players and employees there.

Meanwhile, the merger still faces hurdles. The UK's Competition and Markets Authority had previously blocked the acquisition, citing concerns about Microsoft's influence in the cloud gaming sector. The decision, currently under appeal, may be difficult to reverse without altering the deal's terms.

The US Federal Trade Commission is another hurdle yet to be cleared. A hearing is scheduled for August 2, where both sides will present their cases. The FTC had indicated that it might drop its opposition if the UK approved the deal, which didn't happen.

Activision Blizzard's year in China has been tumultuous. It severed ties with its Chinese publishing partner, NetEase, leading to a hiatus for games like World of Warcraft in the country. The split may have been due to a misunderstanding over regulatory decisions, according to some reports.

As Activision Blizzard seeks a new partner in China, it remains to be seen whether the newfound regulatory approval will smooth the path for rekindling the relationship with NetEase—especially after the latter's dramatic smashing of a World of Warcraft statue post-breakup.