UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) carried out a preliminary decision on the transaction for the purchase of the publishing house Activision Blizzard by Microsoft, modified taking into account the concerns of the regulator.
Recall that the CMA blocked the transaction in April due to concerns about competition in the cloud gaming sector. In July, the parties decided to continue negotiations, and in August the regulator resumed consideration of the deal.
In late August, Microsoft unveiled an initiative to help win CMA approval: The company would sell Ubisoft the cloud streaming rights for all existing and new Activision Blizzard games released over the next 15 years.
It looks like the plan worked: the CMA concluded that Ubisoft will transfer the rights to cloud game streaming to Activision Blizzard “Significantly reduces previous concerns and opens the door to business approval”.
“The sale of Ubisoft’s streaming rights to Activision will prevent critical content such as Call of Duty, Overwatch and World of Warcraft from falling under Microsoft’s cloud gaming control.”concluded the CMA.
So far, the CMA has given preliminary approval to the restructured deal between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard. The regulator still has concerns, but Microsoft has already proposed measures to address them.
The CMA must make a final decision on the case by October 18, the deadline for the completion of the merger between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard. The record deal is valued at $68.7 billion, and the penalty in the event of failure is $4.5 billion.