SEC Approves Microsoft Acquisition of Bethesda

 The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved Microsoft’s 7.5 billion acquisition of Bethesda. The SEC published a Notice of Effectiveness for the deal. A Notice of Effectiveness is used when the SEC accepts a company’s registration. A Prospectus was also filed that confirms details of the acquisition. Microsoft still needs to get approval from the European Commission. The acquisition is expected to be approved. After Microsoft gets approval from the European Commission, the acquisition deal will be official. 

  Microsoft also created a division called the Vault that will be responsible for Bethesda properties. The acquisition could be halted by the ongoing Fallout 4 lawsuit. Fillippo Marchino, an attorney handling the class-action lawsuit, wants the judge to halt the sale of Bethesda. The lawsuit was filed in 2019 and claims that Bethesda misled fans about Fallout 4 Season Pass. According to a report, a trial could happen in 2022 if a settlement is not reached. If Bethesda is found guilty they could be forced to pay up to $1.1 billion in damages.

Microsoft is Quiet on the Issue of Exclusivity

The above-mentioned lawsuit is likely to end with a settlement. Microsoft has too much riding on the acquisition of Bethesda for the deal not to go through. Microsoft has not addressed whether future Bethesda titles will come to PlayStation or the Switch. They will uphold any deals Bethesda made prior to the acquisition. Deathloop will be released as a PlayStation timed exclusive and will be released be on Xbox a year later.

   However, it would be stunning for Microsoft to allow Elder Scrolls 6 or Starfield to be released for the PS5 or the Switch. Microsoft would undercut the Xbox Series X/S and give their competitors an edge. All future Bethesda titles should be released on PCs and be available on Game Pass. Microsoft has no apparent incentive to release Elder Scrolls 6 or Starfield on rival platforms. Xbox Series X/S needs more exclusives and without a major title like the Elder Scrolls 6 will start to lag behind the PS5 and the Switch.  

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