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[Update]The final hurdle for the MS Zenimax buyout has been removed, EU approves the buyout "unconditionally" - Sale has been officially confirmed

Microsoft have been waiting for an EU decision as to whether their buyout of Zenimax can proceed, yesterday they got that decision. The EU have approved the deal unconditionally stating the buyout poses no competition risk.

Quote

The European Commission has approved Microsoft’s $7.5 billion deal to acquire ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Doom and Fallout studio Bethesda Softworks. Microsoft’s deal has been approved by the EU without conditions, as it “does not raise serious doubts as to its compatibility with the common market.” The acquisition required EU approval before Microsoft could finalize the Bethesda deal and bring future games to its Xbox Game Pass subscription.

 

“The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, given the combined entity’s limited market position upstream and the presence of strong downstream competitors in the distribution of video games,” says a European Commission statement. “The transaction was examined under the normal merger review procedure.”

This doesn't mean the buyout is now official, MS still have some T's to cross and I's to dot however it was the last significant barrier to the deal.

Quote

Once the deal is fully closed, Microsoft’s list of first-party studios will jump to 23, following the addition of Bethesda sub-studios like Dishonored developer Arkane, Wolfenstein studio MachineGames, Doom maker id Software, and The Evil Within studio Tango Gameworks. Microsoft appears to be planning to keep Bethesda running separately, with its existing leadership. That approach seems to have worked for Mojang, LinkedIn, and GitHub, which have all continued to run separately after Microsoft acquired them.

Source - https://www.theverge.com/2021/3/8/22315104/microsoft-bethesda-acquisition-eu-approval-deal

EU Statement - https://ec.europa.eu/competition/elojade/isef/case_details.cfm?proc_code=2_M_10001

 

I'd expect this deal to be finalised and done by the end of March, it shouldn't be long after that we start seeing Bethesda, ID and other Zenimax studio titles on Game Pass.

 

Edit - Microsoft have released a news blog, the deal is done and they now own Bethesda, ID, Machine Games, Arkane Studios and more

 

https://news.xbox.com/en-us/2021/03/09/officially-welcoming-bethesda-to-the-xbox-family/

 

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at this point i don't think it really matters if they wait until the class action lawsuit is finalised or not, either MS pays the settlement, or they get the company minus the settlement costs.

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Just now, valdyrgramr said:

How does the EU dictate what 2 American companies can and cannot do even in this regard?

Because they both operate within the EU so EU competition and anti trust laws have to be respected otherwise MS might be forced by the EU to withdraw from the market.

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2 minutes ago, Arika S said:

at this point i don't think it really matters if they wait until the class action lawsuit is finalised or not, either MS pays the settlement, or they get the company minus the settlement costs.

MS will probably just swallow the cost (if they have no other option).

 

I doubt it would affect the takeover deal either way

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6 minutes ago, Master Disaster said:

Because they both operate within the EU so EU competition and anti trust laws have to be respected otherwise MS might be forced by the EU to withdraw from the market.

Well, if the EU is/was questioning that then they clearly don't know the history between MS and id, which Zenimax owns.   Secondly, I'm sure MS has more money than the EU and could just abuse their presence there like Apple did with the whole Ireland thing.   So, x = doubt.

 

 

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19 minutes ago, Master Disaster said:

otherwise MS might be forced by the EU to withdraw from the market.

Like the EU would be stupid enough to force MS out of Europe. 

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1 hour ago, valdyrgramr said:

Well, if the EU is/was questioning that then they clearly don't know the history between MS and id, which Zenimax owns.   Secondly, I'm sure MS has more money than the EU and could just abuse their presence there like Apple did with the whole Ireland thing.   So, x = doubt.

Pretty sure you're misunderstanding the situation.

 

Competition and anti trust laws are there to make sure no 2 companies can ever merge to create a giant company that has little to no competition in the market. The way the companies have acted towards each other in the past is totally irrelevant to the decision, its about making sure customers are not getting ripped off by a company that can charge whatever they want because they have no serious competitors.

 

You really think Microsoft has more money than the entirety of Europe?

 

Finally if the EU decide the deal causes an anti competition or monopolistic scenario then can effectively ban the sale of any MS products from within the territories they govern. Microsoft has a retail presence in the EU and as such are legally bound to abide by any laws in that region, they cannot just decide to ignore it. If it were to happen items would be pulled from shelves and shipments would be halted in very much the same way as what happened with Trumps China import ban.

 

1 hour ago, Arika S said:

Like the EU would be stupid enough to force MS out of Europe. 

Agreed, it would never happen. That doesn't mean the deal doesn't have to be scrutinised and approved though.

 

That said, I think you're giving to EU a bit to much credit on the stupidity front 😄

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I'm interested to see how it goes from here. What game series will get attention initially and so.

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1 hour ago, Arika S said:

Like the EU would be stupid enough to force MS out of Europe. 

They could force the Xbox Game Studios out of Europe while Microsoft could keep selling Windows and their other products and services.

 

I doubt it was Microsoft themselves who bought Zenimax, it was probably just the Xbox Game Studios so technically two different companies.

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1 hour ago, Gaires said:

They could force the Xbox Game Studios out of Europe while Microsoft could keep selling Windows and their other products and services.

 

I doubt it was Microsoft themselves who bought Zenimax, it was probably just the Xbox Game Studios so technically two different companies.

Yes but Microsoft as a whole could pull out of the EU if they wanted to retaliate if the EU decided to push Microsoft game studios out of thr EU. I mean good luck replacing windows and Microsoft software products. I guess they could all switch to Apple or Linux?

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It's official now. Guess they were waiting to seal the deal the moment the EU approved the sale.

 

 

Officially Welcoming Bethesda to Team Xbox

 

BethesdaAndXbox_HERO.jpg?w=1200

 

 

Hoping for another Obsidian Fallout, and more regular title releases for Bethesda IPs. Maybe Microsoft will have multiple studios contribute to future TES and Fallout games to get them released more regularly.

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9 hours ago, Doobeedoo said:

I'm interested to see how it goes from here. What game series will get attention initially and so.

Well, Doom, Wolfenstein, and Quake are the most important.  Commander Keen is up there, but Wolfenstein for being the first FPS franchise, Doom for bringing us galore/cheats/DMs, and Quake for bringing us the arena shooter with the 3rd game.  MS themselves has a huge fangirl thing for Doom, like me.

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44 minutes ago, valdyrgramr said:

Well, Doom, Wolfenstein, and Quake are the most important.  Commander Keen is up there, but Wolfenstein for being the first FPS franchise, Doom for bringing us galore/cheats/DMs, and Quake for bringing us the arena shooter with the 3rd game.  MS themselves has a huge fangirl thing for Doom, like me.

Yeah I like all the series. As a Quake player I'm curious what the future will be for it, both new game and current Quake Champions will it get more work on it.

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14 minutes ago, Doobeedoo said:

Yeah I like all the series. As a Quake player I'm curious what the future will be for it, both new game and current Quake Champions will it get more work on it.

Ya, Gates was a fan of Doom Death Matches and Quake 3 Arena himself.    So, those will get the love Halo's PVP did under MS funding.

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15 hours ago, valdyrgramr said:

How does the EU dictate what 2 American companies can and cannot do even in this regard?

Because these 2 American companies can do whatever they want,  *outside* EU, but unfortunately those 2 also want to mess *inside* the EU,  unfortunately,  for whatever reason. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, valdyrgramr said:

And again, MS most likely has more moeny than the EU

This is a really complicated question because of the sorts of things both entities will be doing with their cash reserves, but if we go purely by what they have in the bank then the answer is no, they don't have more money than the EU. The same is true if you're talking yearly income - the EU's income is larger than Microsoft's.

 

EU (the governing body, not a sum of the income of all member states):

Yearly Income (gross): €148.2 Billion

Gold and Cash reserves: €470.7 Billion

Total Assets (including cash reserves): €4.671 Trillion

 

Microsoft:

Yearly Income (gross): $143 Billion (€120.4 Billion)

Total assets (including cash reserves): $301.3 Billion (€253.7 Billion)

 

(These numbers are, of course, not the whole story regarding their economic statuses - both the EU and Microsoft will have liabilities (loans etc.) against their assets and so you can't take these numbers as an indication that the EU could actually afford to buy out Microsoft. They may well be able to, but that's an even more complicated question that I am in no way qualified to answer.)

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28 minutes ago, tim0901 said:

EU (the governing body, not a sum of the income of all member states):

Either way both the governing body and the sum of the income of member states in the EU have significantly more money than Microsoft.

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3 hours ago, Mark Kaine said:

Also obligatory:

 

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19 hours ago, valdyrgramr said:

How does the EU dictate what 2 American companies can and cannot do even in this regard?

They can’t if they don’t do business in the EU.  They do though.  The world is a connected thing these days.  

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On 3/10/2021 at 8:13 AM, Vishera said:

ly like good boys.

No that isn't true. The reason big companies comply with rules is that it is worth it to do so but as soon as the EU makes big enough moves to where it is no longer worth it big companies will likely retaliate. I mean we already have examples of companies simply pulling services in countries that have too much regulation like Facebook news in Australia. I wouldn't be surprised if big companies do so if the EU over regulates. Sure they have some leverage as they control a big market but that doesn't change the fact that they aren't the only market and as soon as they make it enough of a hassle to comply with EU regulations companies will simply choose not to do business in the EU. This is especially the case when it starts effecting other markets. If it only has to be complied with within the EU and isn't super difficult to do then they will likely comply like they do with GDRP. 

Edited by LogicalDrm
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12 minutes ago, Brooksie359 said:

No that isn't true. The reason big companies comply with rules is that it is worth it to do so but as soon as the EU makes big enough moves to where it is no longer worth it big companies will likely retaliate. I mean we already have examples of companies simply pulling services in countries that have too much regulation like Facebook news in Australia. I wouldn't be surprised if big companies do so if the EU over regulates. Sure they have some leverage as they control a big market but that doesn't change the fact that they aren't the only market and as soon as they make it enough of a hassle to comply with EU regulations companies will simply choose not to do business in the EU. This is especially the case when it starts effecting other markets. If it only has to be complied with within the EU and isn't super difficult to do then they will likely comply like they do with GDRP. 

What you said doesn't contradict what i said.

You are right that companies will retaliate in case of over-regulation,but in the end of the day both Facebook and Google still comply with the law.

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*** Thread cleaned ***

 

This was heading to more political side of things. Which, sadly, also leads to issues.

 

How EU and member countries, as well as other European country's, operate, reasons for thats etc. is more about politics, and other reasons which are far beyond just such simple things like economics or governing laws. Lets leave those to other discussion platforms. Please.

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