Microsoft's $7.5 billion ZeniMax/Bethesda deal approved by SEC and EU Commission


No objections raised in industry-shaking acquisition

Microsoft is now one step closer to completing its acquisition of ZeniMax Media, having sought and received approval from both the European Commission and the U.S. Securities & Exchanges Commission (SEC) both of whom offered no opposition to the multi-billion dollar deal from taking place.

By law, Microsoft was obliged to seek approval from the statutory bodies on the basis of Antitrust – essentially global laws that are in place in order to supervise and prevent the formation of monopolies within a given industry. This is a common legal procedure in transactions of this nature, and was also sought by Tencent during the conglomerate’s acquisition of mobile giant King in 2016.

Having received approval from both the EU Commission and the SEC, Microsoft is now expected to press forward with the $7.5 billion transaction, which is expected to see completion in late-2021. The deal gives Microsoft ownership of ZeniMax Media and its subsidiary studios and licenses, including those of video game publisher Bethesda Softworks.

Bethesda and Microsoft have previously assured video game fans that the new deal does not automatically designate all future Bethesda releases as Xbox/PC exclusives, suggesting that title exclusivity will be designated on a “case-by-case” basis. Bethesda’s next release, Deathloop, will retain its initial PlayStation exclusivity despite the Microsoft purchase.