UK clears Microsoft’s $69 billion Activision acquisition

Image Credit: Microsoft

On Friday, the UK competition watchdog approved Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard following significant modifications to the deal that effectively resolved their previous concerns.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced that it had approved Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision, albeit without including cloud gaming rights in the deal. “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 competition watchdog said in a statement.

In January 2022, Microsoft unveiled the most significant gaming deal ever, a $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard. However, this massive transaction was obstructed in April by the UK’s competition regulator due to concerns that the American tech giant might exert excessive control over the emerging cloud gaming market.

In August, Activision had reached an agreement to sell its streaming rights to Ubisoft, and in the past month, Microsoft presented solutions to guarantee that the sale’s conditions could be upheld by the regulatory authorities, alleviating any remaining concerns. At the end of September, the CMA gave preliminary approval to the deal

“With the sale of Activision’s cloud streaming rights to Ubisoft, we’ve made sure Microsoft can’t have a stranglehold over this important and rapidly developing market,” said Sarah Cardell, CMA chief executive. “As cloud gaming grows, this intervention will ensure people get more competitive prices, better services and more choice. We are the only competition agency globally to have delivered this outcome. ”

The CMA was the last regulatory hurdle impeding the acquisition. Microsoft should now be able to finalize the deal.

Microsoft said it was “grateful for the CMA’s thorough review and decision”.

“We have now crossed the final regulatory hurdle to close this acquisition, which we believe will benefit players and the gaming industry worldwide,” Vice Chair and President Brad Smith said.

Written by Maya Robertson


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