Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard has been approved in the UK
After nearly two years, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has officially approved Microsoft's pending acquisition of publisher Activision Blizzard, allowing the deal to be completed globally.
- After provisionally approving the acquisition last month, the CMA has now given the deal the green light after Microsoft addressed the regulator's concerns about its control over the cloud gaming market. “The new deal will stop Microsoft from locking up competition in cloud gaming as this market takes off, preserving competitive prices and services for UK cloud gaming customers,” the CMA’s statement reads. “It will allow Ubisoft to offer Activision’s content under any business model, including through multigame subscription services. It will also help to ensure that cloud gaming providers will be able to use non-Windows operating systems for Activision content, reducing costs and increasing efficiency.”
- The original deal was blocked in the UK in April due to concerns that Microsoft acquiring Activision would result in a cloud gaming monopoly if the publisher's franchises were made exclusive to Xbox Game Pass. Microsoft then restructured the agreement, agreeing to sell Activision's cloud streaming rights to rival publisher Ubisoft.
- The two companies are now expected to close the deal as soon as today, now that the last remaining hurdle has been overcome. Still, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) may cause problems in the US as it intends to reopen its administrative case regarding the deal and appeal the outcome of its initial attempt to obtain a preliminary injunction.
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