EU approves Vivendi, Activision deal

The European Commission has approved the merger of Vivendi's video game unit with Activision in a €6.1 bilion (US$9.85 billion) deal, a Reuters report said. The complex deal will give Vivendi, the French telecoms and media group, a 52% stake in a new industry giant called Activision Blizzard, which should rival Electronic Arts, the world's biggest independent game publisher.

The Commission said for 'all categories of game software, the combined firm would continue to face several strong, effective competitors, such as Electronic Arts, and the game console manufacturers, such as Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft.'

Activision is riding high on the success of games such as Guitar Hero, Call of Duty and Tony Hawk, but has no offering in the online role-playing area, which is dominated by World of Warcraft from Vivendi's Blizzard Entertainment.