Microsoft says Activision Sells Streaming Rights to Ubisoft under Revised $69 bn Deal

In a bid to gain approval from Britain’s anti-trust regulator for its $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, Microsoft has announced a new agreement that sees Ubisoft Entertainment acquiring the streaming rights for Activision’s games.
Microsoft to acquire Activision BlizzardThe move comes after the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in Britain initially blocked Microsoft’s acquisition, expressing concerns over the tech giant’s potential dominance in the emerging cloud gaming market.

Microsoft’s original proposal, which would have given the company significant control over the cloud gaming industry, was met with resistance from both the CMA and the Federal Trade Commission in the United States. Despite receiving approval from the European Union, the company was forced to reevaluate its approach.

Under the revised terms, Ubisoft will secure the cloud streaming rights for Activision’s existing PC and console games, as well as any new games released by Activision over the next 15 years. This agreement will apply worldwide except for Europe, where the original deal had already been accepted by Brussels. In Europe, Ubisoft will hold a non-exclusive license for Activision’s rights, allowing the company to offer the games within the region.

Industry experts suggest that the new agreement between Microsoft and Ubisoft might pave the way for the acquisition to finally proceed. While the regulatory process has caused delays, Microsoft appears confident in its new proposal and aims to have it reviewed by the CMA by October 18th.

The CMA has confirmed that it will evaluate the revised deal through its standard process, with a Phase 1 examination set to conclude by the October deadline. If concerns persist regarding competition, a more extensive Phase 2 examination could follow.

The concessions made by Microsoft in this new agreement represent a victory for the CMA’s stringent approach to tech-related deals, especially following the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union. Microsoft’s willingness to adjust its terms suggests a strong belief in its ability to gain regulatory approval within the specified timeframe.

The gaming industry will be closely watching these developments, as the outcome could significantly influence the landscape of cloud gaming and competition within the market.

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