Microsoft’s $7.5bn deal to acquire ZeniMax has been approved in the US and EU.
The acquisition required approval from the European Commission as well as the United States Securities and Exchange Commission before it could be completed.
As we reported in February, Microsoft created a new subsidiary called Vault to merge with ZeniMax as part of its proposed takeover of the company.
The use of the name Vault for this subsidiary is surely a nod to Bethesda’s Fallout series, which contains a raft of vaults meant to protect people from nuclear destruction. (Spoilers: the vaults aren’t always what they appear to be.)
“The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of ZeniMax Media Inc. by Microsoft Corporation, both of the US,” the European Commission said in a statement issued to Eurogamer.
“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. The transaction was examined under the normal merger review procedure.”
Once the deal is complete, Microsoft’s list of first-party studios will grow substantially to include the likes of Doom developer id Software and The Elder Scrolls maker Bethesda. Other developers brought under Microsoft’s banner include Dishonored studio Arkane, Wolfenstein developer Machine Games, and The Evil Within maker Tango Gameworks.
Microsoft aims to boost its first-party Xbox offering while better competing with console rivals Sony and Nintendo. It has yet to say whether future Bethesda games will be released on rival consoles such as the PlayStation 5 and Nintendo Switch.