Microsoft announced in June it will acquire code repository service GitHub in a $7.5 billion transaction. When these announcements are made, it easy to think the process is complete. However, declaration of an acquisition comes before regulatory approval.
To get a business merger or acquisition over the line, companies need to seek regulatory approval. Antitrust regulators in different markets need to greenlight the deal. If authorities see anything suspicious in the transaction or believe it would create an unfair market, they will kill it.
In Europe, Microsoft is still awaiting regulatory approval for the GitHub acquisition. This is arguably the market where the company may be the most uneasy, considering Europe’s tough stance on tech companies over the years.
The European Commission, the continent’s regulatory body, is now expected to give its decision by October 19. On its official page, the Commission confirms Microsoft asked for the decision to be made by last Friday.
Obviously, the regulator wants more time, which does not necessarily mean they is a problem. In fact, we saw the Commission take its time with Microsoft’s $27 billion purchase of LinkedIn. It was one of the last regulators to greenlight that particular transaction.
It is worth considering the LinkedIn deal was arguably more controversial as it gave Microsoft access to vast amounts of business data.
Like the LinkedIn deal, EU regulators are likely to appeased by the fact Microsoft has said GitHub will continue to operate as an independent company.
Once the Commission makes its decision, Microsoft will be able to move ahead and close its purchase of GitHub.