Nearly two years after announcing its plans to acquire Activision Blizzard for nearly $70 billion, Microsoft may finally be at the finish line. Today, the UK regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) revealed that it does provisionally agreed upon To make the proposed acquisition possible, perhaps releasing the last major hurdle that has been stalling the deal for many months.
The CMA originally blocked the takeover deal earlier this year saying Microsoft’s dominance could harm cloud gaming competition in the UK. Following this, Microsoft appealed the decision, presenting a renewed proposal that saw it sell its cloud gaming rights to Ubisoft. This included access to all current and future Activision Blizzard PC games for the next 15 years.
Overall, the CMA’s statement today says it is satisfied with Microsoft selling its cloud gaming rights to Ubisoft, as the company can no longer withhold games from rivals nor restrict access to other providers. Although the approval is not yet fully complete, all that remains for the CMA to reach a final decision is to consult with Microsoft about some “limited residual concerns.”
“This is a new and fundamentally different deal, which keeps the cloud distribution of these important games in the hands of a strong independent provider, Ubisoft, and not under the control of Microsoft,” says Colin Raftery, senior director of mergers and acquisitions at CMA Decision Maker 1.
“With additional safeguards to ensure the deal is properly implemented, this will preserve market structure, allow open competition to continue to shape the evolution of cloud gaming for years to come, and give UK gamers the opportunity to access Activision’s games in many different ways, including through multi-game subscription based services cloud.”
Also Microsoft Vice Chairman and President Brad Smith Comment on the new developmentSaying “We are encouraged by this positive development in the CMA’s review process. We have presented solutions that we believe fully address the CMA’s remaining concerns related to cloud gaming streaming, and we will continue to work towards obtaining approval to close before the October 18 deadline.”