December 1, 2023

The UK’s Competitors and Markets Authority (CMA) has lastly authorized Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The final roadblock that was stopping Microsoft from closing the $68 billion deal has now been cleared, and as we speak’s determination additionally marks the tip of a protracted regulatory course of that started final 12 months.

The CMA initially blocked Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard acquisition in April over issues in regards to the cloud gaming market. Whereas Microsoft appealed that call, the CMA agreed to pause authorized proceedings in July, which allowed Microsoft to submit a restructured deal in August that can switch cloud gaming rights for Activision Blizzard video games to Ubisoft.

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If the UK regulator had already provisionally authorized this restructured deal on September 22, it delivered as we speak the ultimate regulatory approval that Microsoft wanted to shut the acquisition. The $68 billion deal is Microsoft’s greatest acquisition ever, and an acquisition of this scale can also be unprecedented within the historical past of the video video games business.

“With the sale of Activision’s cloud streaming rights to Ubisoft, we’ve made positive Microsoft can’t have a stranglehold over this essential and quickly growing market. As cloud gaming grows, this intervention will guarantee individuals get extra aggressive costs, higher companies and extra selection. We’re the one competitors company globally to have delivered this end result,” mentioned Sarah Cardell, Chief Govt of the CMA as we speak.

Whereas an official announcement from Microsoft is probably going coming very quickly, Microsoft President Brad Smith has already commented on the CMA’s determination. “We’re grateful for the CMA’s thorough evaluate and determination as we speak. We’ve now crossed the ultimate regulatory hurdle to shut this acquisition, which we imagine will profit gamers and the gaming business worldwide,” the exec posted on X.

With this acquisition, Microsoft will take management of varied blockbuster franchises akin to Name of Responsibility, Diablo, and Overwatch. Nonetheless, Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming beforehand mentioned the principle function of this acquisition was to assist Microsoft acquire a foothold within the cellular video games market. Activision Blizzard owns a number of common cellular video games akin to Name of Responsibility Cellular and Sweet Crush, and these common IPs might be key belongings for the cellular sport shops that Microsoft plans to launch on iOS and Android subsequent 12 months.