Microsoft's $7.5B acquisition of Bethesda has been given the green light

Fallout boy likes caps.
(Image credit: Bethesda)

Both the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and the European Union Commission have given Microsoft's proposed acquisition of Zenimax, parent company of Bethesda Game Studios, approval to proceed. Following its investigation (which was opened in February 2020) the SEC posted a Notice of Effectiveness last week, alongside the full sales prospectus.

The latter breaks down the complex way that the total price of $7.5 billion is reached, which sounds a bit like a Fallout questline: it involves promissory notes that will mature over the next three decades, essentially, and splits into $6.25 billion of Microsoft's "New 2052 Notes" and "up to $1,250,000,000 aggregate principal amount of our New 2062 Notes".

In addition to the SEC's decision, the EU Commission has decided not to oppose Microsoft's acquisition either, clearing the way for the deal to be completed. The decision follows an investigation into the proposed merger, and the EU's decision references article 6(1)(b) which reads, in part, that the deal "does not raise serious doubts as to its compatibility with the common market [and therefore] it shall decide not to oppose it and shall declare that it is compatible with the common market."

This does not mean that the acquisition is yet complete, but it does mean that no serious obstacles remain to it going through. When it's official we'll let you know.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."