Microsoft’s $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard has been approved by UK regulators. The Competition and Markets Authority (now Cma) of the United Kingdom has concluded its investigation by deciding that the operation can go ahead.
The investigation began in May, when the body surprisingly blocked the $68.7 billion deal with a series of concerns about a possible monopoly on cloud gaming. After the investigation, Microsoft would have reviewed the agreement, in particular, we read in the body’s note, the part that concerns the transfer of cloud gaming rights for current and new Activision Blizzard games to Ubisoft. Now the decision paves the way for the deal to close following the green light from the UK regulator.
The Backstory Why are Microsoft and Sony buying all these video game companies? by Lorenzo Fantoni 06 February 2022
“The CMA has decided to grant Microsoft consent to acquire Activision Blizzard, excluding Activision’s cloud streaming rights outside the European Economic Area, provided that the sale of Activision’s cloud streaming rights is completed before completion of the merger”, reads a statement from the CMA.
The CMA considers Microsoft’s opening a “change of direction that will promote competition” in the cloud gaming market. “By selling Activision’s cloud streaming rights to Ubisoft, we have ensured that Microsoft cannot have a stranglehold on this important and rapidly developing market,” says Sarah Cardell, head of CMA. “As cloud gaming grows, this will ensure citizens have more competitive prices, better services and more choice. We are the only global competition agency to have achieved this.”
Microsoft and Activision acquisitions, what changes after the green light in the USA and what emerged by Lorenzo Fantoni 13 July 2023
Microsoft vice president and president Brad Smith said the company welcomes the CMA’s decision. “We have now cleared the final regulatory hurdle to close this acquisition, which we believe will benefit players and the gaming industry around the world,” Smith said in a message on X.