EU to rule on Microsoft’s $7.5 billion ZeniMax deal by March 5

The Microsoft Windows logo at the COMPUTEX, the largest computer show in Asia, in Taipei, Taiwan, 31 May 2016 (reissued 23 October 2019). [EPA-EFE/RITCHIE B. TONGO]

EU antitrust regulators will decide by March 5 whether to clear Microsoft’s $7.5 billion acquisition of ZeniMax Media, the U.S. tech giant’s biggest gaming acquisition to better compete with Sony Corp’s PlayStation.

Microsoft requested European Commission approval for the deal on Jan. 29, a filing on the EU executive’s website showed.

The EU competition enforcer can clear the deal with or without concessions during its preliminary review or it can open a full-scale investigation if it has serious concerns.

ZeniMax, parent company of Bethesda Softworks, has developed hits including Fallout and Doom. The gaming industry has soared, boosted by demand from users stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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