US and EU trading bodies both approve Microsoft’s $7.5B buyout of ZeniMax Media


It’s been a few months since Microsoft acquired all of ZeniMax Media’s studios to the tune of $7.5 billion back in September of last year. There hasn’t been much news on the front outside of Phil Spencer and Todd Howard both assuring fans that there won’t be major changes in ZeniMax’s cross-platform strategies (while Microsoft’s own CFO kind of subverted that a bit with his own words), but the revelation was big enough that it won our award for Biggest Surprise that year.

Recently, the buyout has cleared two particularly large hurdles as the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has officially approved the acquisition this past Thursday after a close investigation of both companies and the acquisition itself. The European Commission has also approved the deal this past Friday.

It is important to note that the buyout has still not been officially completed necessarily, but approval by both major trade bodies in the US and EU does effectively pave the way for final formalities to be cleared and the deal to be completed soon.

Update 3/9
Bethsoft posted a statement today about the buyout, though there’s nothing groundbreaking in it. “Today marks the beginning of a new chapter for Bethesda Softworks as part of the Xbox Team at Microsoft,” Pete Hines wrote. “First, let me say that we’re not making any landmark announcements or changes right now. As we’ve all shared, the expectation is that Bethesda Softworks and our studios will continue as we have in the past, just with more support and resources than we’ve ever had before. Obviously, Game Pass has been an important initiative for Xbox, and we’ll be working on putting even more of our games into Game Pass than ever before. Beyond that? Stay tuned, we’re just getting started together.”
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