EU to rule on Microsoft's $7.5 billion ZeniMax deal by March 5

FILE PHOTO: A person walks past a Microsoft store in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., January 25, 2021. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - EU antitrust regulators will decide by March 5 whether to clear Microsoft’s $7.5 billion acquisition of ZeniMax Media, the U.S. tech giant’s biggest gaming acquisition to better compete with Sony Corp’s PlayStation.

Microsoft requested European Commission approval for the deal on Jan. 29, a filing on the EU executive’s website showed.

The EU competition enforcer can clear the deal with or without concessions during its preliminary review or it can open a full-scale investigation if it has serious concerns.

ZeniMax, parent company of Bethesda Softworks, has developed hits including Fallout and Doom. The gaming industry has soared, boosted by demand from users stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Jason Neely