The deal is set to become official in June 2023.

Brazilian competition regulator CADE (Administrative Council for Economic Defence) have given the green light for Microsoft's deal to buy Activision-Blizzard.

CADE's approval of the deal will allow Microsoft to operate without restrictions in the Brazilian region. This announcement is the latest in a line of landmark milestones in Microsoft's path to completing the $68.7Bn acquisition of Acti-Blizz.

The biggest opponents of the deal are Tencent and Sony, the two biggest competitors in the video game landscape. Tencent are the parent company of Riot Games, Epic Games and Ubisoft. Sony own PlayStation, making these two companies Microsoft's biggest opposition.

CADE's analysis of the deal says that Activision-Blizzard properties would not be "essential" assets to Microsoft. That includes the Call of Duty and Overwatch franchises.

The Call of Duty franchise has been running since 2003.
The Call of Duty franchise has been running since 2003.

CADE said: "It’s also reasonable to assume that if upcoming Call of Duty games became exclusive to the Microsoft ecosystem, players loyal to the PlayStation brand could simply abandon the series.

“Despite this, one cannot rule out the possibility that Microsoft may deem potentially profitable to adopt an exclusivity strategy on Activision Blizzard games."

Overwatch 2 launched this week.
Overwatch 2 launched this week.

Brazil's announcement means that Microsoft are effectively half-way through their whistle-stop worldwide tour of securing approval for the deal. Brazil joins the Middle East in already approving the deal. Saudi Arabia's General Authority for Competition gave the deal the metaphorical thumbs up in August.

What's next?

The biggest two stumbling blocks for Microsoft now will be ensuring that they can secure approval both in Europe and in North America.

Microsoft need to secure two more massive markets for the deal to go ahead seamlessly in June 2023.

Asia Pacific markets would also be a minor consideration for the company but with just 11.6% of company revenue coming from APAC in Q2 in 2022. It will be on the backburner compared to EMEA and the Americas, where a total of $1.452Bn was made between April and July in 2022.

Activision-Blizzard's latest revenue statement, from Q2, 2022.
Activision-Blizzard's latest revenue statement, from Q2, 2022.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the US are expected to make their judgement on the deal in November. According to a report via SeekingAlpha, the FTC's investigation is still at "staff level". The scope of the US government means that any investigation can escalate at incredible pace.

Instead of every single country needing individual approval of the deal in Europe, there is one central investigation being held by the European Union.

That means that one central approval will see the deal approved throughout the EU.

A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed: "The European Commission's review of the deal is progressing in line with the expected regulatory schedule and process, and we remain confident that the acquisition will close in fiscal year 2023."

The UK will provide their own ruling on the deal. The deadline for the UK's verdict is currently March 2023. The fact that they are five months behind the US and EU means that their outcome will likely have little to no affect on the deal, regardless of outcome.

How Microsoft are promoting the deal

Xbox launched a website this week amid the rising pressure on the deal. It shows the reasons why Microsoft think that the benefit the industry.

The site says: "Developers deserve more options to build, distribute and monetize their groundbreaking games. When we do this, we all win."

The whole idea behind the website is to allow people to digest what will happen when the deal goes through. As a result of the launch of the site, more and more people are scrutinising the deal.

Forbes senior contributor Paul Tassi quoted one of his readers as saying: “If you have to make a website to convince people you should be able to buy a company, maybe you shouldn’t be able to buy a company.”

The website also smacks of hypocrisy. One statement included said Microsoft wanted "more competition in mobile, where a couple of big players dominate". A declaration said with vigour despite Microsoft owning and manufacturing one of the two biggest-selling games consoles in the world.

It seems as though nothing will stop this deal from happening. Sony and Tencent's protests have had little -to-no affect on the outcome in Saudi Arabia and Brazil. The US and EU will more than likely follow suit in the next few months as Microsoft are set to make their gaming empire even bigger.

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