As Microsoft moves closer to acquiring ZeniMax, there are just a few bits of regulation and red tape in the way before the $7.5 billion deal can pass. Recent documents show that Microsoft is making moves to smooth the edges on the matter, though. Reportedly, Microsoft will merge ZeniMax, Bethesda, and all else that the deal contains into a new subsidiary called “Vault”. Vault is expected to launch after the deal is fully settled.
Information about Microsoft, Bethesda, and ZeniMax’s intentions with the new Vault subsidiary were revealed in a legal document posted to the European Commission's website. Ahead of the EU antitrust court ruling that will decide whether or not Microsoft and ZeniMax’s deal goes through, Microsoft announced intentions to merge the latter and its collective organizations into Vault. With this in mind, the document further suggests that through this action, Microsoft and ZeniMax’s deal will likely satisfy EU merger regulations, though the document does not constitute a final decision. The European Commission’s antitrust regulators are expected to come to a final decision on the deal by March 5, 2021.
Large companies creating subsidiaries with which to host merged entities is not out of the ordinary. In fact, as Electronic Arts closes in on a deal to acquire racing game developer Codemasters, EA is expected to take a similar route, creating a subsidiary called Codex Games to host the dev.
Regardless, it looks like little else stands in the way of Microsoft’s deal with ZeniMax and Bethesda going through. The two have already been rather cozy with several titles under the ZeniMax banner coming to Xbox Game Pass over the years. Stay tuned as we await a final decision on the matter and further updates as they become available.