Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard deal provisionally approved by UK regulator
Since Microsoft first announced plans to buy Activision Blizzard, the producer of Call of Duty and Overwatch in exchange for $68.7 billion, the company has had to negotiate with lawmakers around the globe to get the necessary approval to conclude that transaction.
The company is currently confronting the aftermath of an large leak of sensitive Xbox documents, such as the Bethesda release plan for 2020. This was a document the company submitted to the court process between the American Federal Trade Commission.
Before this announcement, Microsoft had been focusing on getting approval from UK regulators to its Activision arrangement and has since been granted a provisional approval.
The UK’s CMA will allow Microsoft acquisitions to take place
The British Competition and Markets Authority blocked the deal that was originally proposed to it in April in response to concerns about the potential impact on competition in the gaming sector, Microsoft submitted a revised version of the deal that contained plans to offer the rights to cloud-based streaming in the UK to Ubisoft.
In the course of its preliminary decision regarding this revised version of the agreement, released on the 22nd of September, the CMA declared that “the transfer of Activision’s cloud gaming rights Ubisoft is a significant improvement over previous issues and could lead to a deal that is completed.”
The company also stated that it “has some concerns remaining that specific provisions of the purchase of the rights to cloud streaming from Activision to Ubisoft can be overridden or terminated. Alternatively, they could not be applied,” but that “Microsoft offers remedies to ensure that the provisions of the purchase of the rights of Activision to Ubisoft can be enforced under CMA.” CMA.”
The regulatory body “has determined that this added protection is likely to resolve any issues” and is now launching discussions on possible options that will run until the 6th of October, prior to deciding on a decision regarding the agreement.
“The CMA’s position was unwavering throughout this merger. It will only be allowed to proceed in the event that competition, innovation and choice for cloud gaming is preserved,”” CMA CEO Sarah Cardell declared of the interim decision. “In reaction to our initial restriction, Microsoft has now substantially changed the structure of the deal and taken all the steps needed to deal with the initial concerns.”
She said: “It would have been more effective, however, to have Microsoft would have proposed the restructure in our initial inquiry. The case highlights the expense of uncertainty, delay and cost that the parties could incur when there is a viable and efficient alternative is not considered in the appropriate time.”