CMA approves Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard
- The US firm said it was “grateful for the CMA’s exhaustive review and decision.”
The UK’s competition regulator has finally cleared Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of ‘Call of Duty’ maker Activision Blizzard after the US tech giant’s restructured deal substantially addressed its concerns.
In August, Activision agreed to sell its streaming rights to Ubisoft Entertainment, and last month Microsoft offered remedies to ensure the regulator enforced the terms of the sale, calming some residual concerns.
In a statement, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said: “The new agreement will prevent Microsoft from blocking competition in cloud gaming as this market takes off, preserving competitive prices and services for gaming customers in the cloud. UK Cloud”.
Microsoft’s acquisition of ‘Call of Duty’ maker Activision Blizzard has finally been cleared
The group announced the biggest ever gaming deal in early 2022, but the $69bn (£54bn) acquisition was blocked in April by the CMA, which feared the US computer giant would get too much. control of the nascent cloud gaming market.
Microsoft called it “the darkest day in four decades in Britain” and Activision said the UK was “clearly closed to the public.”
The US tech giant said it was “grateful for the CMA’s thorough review and decision”.
Brad Smith, vice president and president of Microsoft, said: “We have cleared the final regulatory hurdle to close this acquisition, which we believe will benefit gamers and the gaming industry around the world.”
Ben Barringer, equity research analyst at Quilter Cheviot, said: “After many months of regulatory issues, the Activision-Microsoft saga can finally end and the gaming world can move on.”
‘For Microsoft, this deal ended without cloud gaming rights to Activision titles.
‘Ultimately, this is a pretty big deal given Activision’s slate of games, like Call of Duty, Overwatch and Candy Crush, big franchises with strong consumer loyalty.
‘Ultimately, Microsoft will now see this as an opportunity to move forward with its cloud gaming strategy, and with or without Activision titles, it will continue to look to dominate the space and leverage the Xbox brand.
“For the CMA, this will be seen as a victory, but they will have to be careful not to over-regulate the tech sector.”
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