Microsoft and Activision Blizzard are considering partially relinquishing control of the UK cloud gaming business to appease local regulators and gain approval for the merger. The decision could be made by July 18, the publication reported. Bloomberg citing their own sources.
The rights to distribute cloud games in the UK could be ceded by the participants in a potential deal to a local company in the telecoms, gaming or internet industries; According to sources, an investment company could also show interest.
Microsoft and Activision Blizzard continue to believe they can close the deal before the deadline, which expires next week. This was made possible by the victory of the two companies in a US court – the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) tried to prevent the merger. Microsoft has resumed negotiations with the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The agency said companies must submit a new application to review the matter. Another obstacle could be the FTC’s request for a temporary ban on the contract, filed the previous day, while the Commission files a request to appeal the US court’s decision. Judge Scott Corley barred the deal from closing until 11:59 p.m. on July 14.
In its previous decision, the UK regulator raised concerns that Activision’s new Microsoft xCloud content would limit competition in the cloud gaming platform market – access to xCloud is offered in a monthly subscription format. The CMA also added that it prefers “structural” remedies to “behavioural” ones: it is easier for the agency to require the sale of a company’s assets than to check that it is delivering on its promises.