In a significant development for the gaming industry, Britain’s antitrust regulator has given its approval for Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the creator of “Call of Duty.” This clearance follows a restructured deal that effectively addressed the concerns previously raised by the regulatory body.
In August, Activision Blizzard had taken a proactive step by agreeing to sell its streaming rights to Ubisoft Entertainment, a move aimed at allaying regulatory apprehensions. Subsequently, in the following month, Microsoft proposed additional remedies to ensure that the terms of the sale were enforceable, which helped alleviate some residual concerns.
The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) expressed satisfaction with the restructured deal, stating that it would prevent Microsoft from monopolizing the competition in the emerging cloud gaming market. This move is expected to preserve competitive prices and services for cloud gaming customers in the UK.
Microsoft had initially announced the historic gaming deal in early 2022, amounting to a staggering $69 billion. However, this acquisition faced a setback in April when Britain’s competition regulator blocked the deal over fears that Microsoft would exert too much control over the burgeoning cloud gaming market.
Expressing gratitude for the thorough review conducted by the CMA, Microsoft’s Vice Chair and President, Brad Smith, stated, “We have now crossed the final regulatory hurdle to close this acquisition, which we believe will benefit players and the gaming industry worldwide.” This clearance marks a crucial milestone for Microsoft and the gaming industry at large.