The European Union has given Microsoft's purchase of Bethesda the green light to go ahead.
The EU approved the deal between Microsoft and Bethesda over the weekend, writing that it "does not raise serious doubts as to its compatibility with the common market." In other words, the EU doesn't see Microsoft's acquisition of Bethesda as creating a monopoly in the video games industry.
Just yesterday, Microsoft's purchase of Bethesda was approved by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. While this wasn't by any means the final hurdle for the deal to go through, it moved the deal one step closer to the finish line. Now, with the EU and SEC rulings having gone through and been approved, there's little else standing in the way of Microsoft acquiring Bethesda.
Previously, Xbox boss Phil Spencer estimated that the deal would go through in the second half of 2021. When Microsoft announced the purchase of Bethesda last year in September 2020, there was some confusion as to whether Bethesda timed PlayStation exclusives like Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo would still be exclusive to Sony's console, but Microsoft has pledged to uphold all previous deals.
As for Bethesda itself, the company will run "semi-independently" from Microsoft after the acquisition goes through. Additionally, the developer is apparently aiming to launch Starfield later this year in 2021, so this could be the first test of whether Microsoft will allow a Bethesda-made game to arrive on Sony platforms on day one.
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