The CMA has approved Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard.


    After Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority blocked Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Call of Duty and Diablo maker Activision Blizzard earlier this year over cloud gaming concerns, Microsoft brought a new deal to the table. In the new deal, Ubisoft will get Activision Blizzard cloud game streaming rights in the UK for 15 years, theoretically addressing the CMA’s concerns. The CMA gave Microsoft initial approval last month and now, a few weeks later, the UK regulatory agency has finally given Microsoft the full approval it needs.

    With the CMA’s approval, Microsoft now has everything it needs to close the deal and make Activision Blizzard part of Xbox’s first-party umbrella. The approval comes days before Microsoft’s Oct. 18 deadline to complete the acquisition, and previous reports indicate that Microsoft plans to do so today.

    it is. What does the CMA say? About the new Microsoft contract that was approved:

    “The new deal will prevent Microsoft from closing out competition in cloud gaming as the market takes off, preserving competitive prices and services for UK cloud gaming customers. It will enable Ubisoft to actuate Activision’s content under any business model.” will allow offering, including through multi-game subscription services. It will also help ensure that cloud gaming providers will be able to use non-Windows operating systems for Activision content, reducing costs. and will be able to increase efficiency.”

    Sarah Cardell, chief executive of the CMA, says the CMA is committed to preventing mergers that harm competition and have negative consequences for consumers and businesses, and makes its decisions independent of political influence so that corporate Don’t get influenced by lobbying.

    “We sent a clear message to Microsoft that the deal would be blocked until they comprehensively addressed our concerns and stuck to our guns on this,” Cardell says. say “With the sale of Activision’s cloud streaming rights to Ubisoft, we have ensured that Microsoft cannot dominate this important and fast-growing market. As cloud gaming continues to grow, this intervention will It will ensure more competitive prices, better services, and more choice. We are the only competitive agency globally to deliver this result.

    “But businesses and advisors should be in no doubt that the strategy used by Microsoft is no way to engage with CMA. Microsoft had an opportunity to restructure during our initial investigation but “Instead we continued to insist on the package of measures that we told them. It will not work. Dragging the process like this only wastes time and money.”

    The CMA says the sale of Activision’s cloud streaming rights to Ubisoft would prevent the distribution of major, popular content like Call of Duty, Overwatch, and World of Warcraft from falling under Microsoft’s control over cloud gaming.

    “The limited agreement substantially addresses the concerns that the CMA raised following its original investigation, which concluded earlier this year,” the CMA writes in its decision. “The CMA identified limited residual concerns with the new deal, but Microsoft made commitments that would ensure the terms of the sale of Activision’s rights to Ubisoft were enforceable by the CMA. A safety net is needed to ensure that this agreement is properly implemented.”

    “We’re grateful for the CMA’s thorough review and decision today. We’ve now cleared the final regulatory hurdle to close this acquisition, which we believe will be the most successful,” said Brad Smith, president and vice chair of Microsoft. Players and the gaming industry worldwide will benefit.”

    Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick, who recently hired James Corden to interview him at an all-employee meeting about Guitar Hero and other things, sent the following email to the entire company:


    Today the CMA, the regulatory authority in the UK, approved our transaction with Microsoft.

    We now have all the necessary regulatory approvals to close and look forward to bringing joy and connection to more players around the world.

    Our Board Chair Brian Kelly and I are incredibly proud of all of you and your accomplishments over the past four decades. We’re excited about our next chapter together with Microsoft and the endless possibilities it creates for you and our players.

    With thanks,


    To catch up on what’s happened so far, first read about Microsoft acquiring Activision Blizzard for $69 billion , and then check out the story of how the CMA overcame cloud gaming concerns in the UK Stopped this acquisition. Then, read about how the FTC’s request for a preliminary injunction was denied by a California judge this summer and then about Microsoft’s plans to have some conciliatory talks with the CMA Read on. Also read about Microsoft’s proposed Ubisoft deal, and then read about why the CMA gave Microsoft initial approval for the deal.

    What Activision Blizzard games do you hope will be added to Xbox Game Pass soon? Let us know in the comments below!


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