SEC approves Microsoft’s $7.5billion acquisition of Bethesda

Microsoft is now one step closer to finalising one of the biggest gaming deals in history

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved Microsoft’s acquisition of ZeniMax Media, which will make Bethesda and a bevy of other studios part of the Xbox family.

The SEC published a Note Of Effectiveness on Thursday, March 4. It was filed alongside a prospectus, which is a legal document that confirms the details of the acquisition, including its US$7.5billion price tag.

While the SEC’s Note Of Effectiveness does not mean the deal between Microsoft and ZeniMax has been completed or guarantees that it will be, it’s a big step in moving towards finalisation. The SEC’s Note Of Effectiveness assures both parties and respective investors that the Commission has looked through every detail and that the deal can progress without any major concerns.


Microsoft and ZeniMax are now waiting on a similar approval process from the European Commission, after which Microsoft will be allowed to actively complete the deal. The European Commission’s decision was expected to be reached on March 5, but has not been shared publicly.

The deal is expected to be finalised in the second half of this year, and will be one of the biggest gaming acquisitions in history. Microsoft first announced its acquisition of ZeniMax Media and all of its subsidiary studios in September 2020.

It was announced early last month that Microsoft has set up a new division named Vault – a nod to Bethesda’s Fallout franchise – to merge with ZeniMax following the acquisition’s completion.

Microsoft has confirmed that all of Bethesda’s announced exclusives for PlayStation will be honoured, with future games being released on Xbox’s rival consoles on a case-by-case basis.

Early last month, it was announced that Robert A. Altman, the co-founder and CEO of ZeniMax Media, had passed away at the age of 73. “He was a true visionary, friend, and believer in the spirit of people and the power of what they could accomplish together. He was an extraordinary leader, and an even better human being,” said Bethesda.

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