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14 Oct, 2023
1 min time to read

The UK's antitrust regulator, the Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA), has given the green light to Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion.

The approval follows a prolonged review process, during which the CMA had initially raised concerns about Microsoft's dominance in the cloud gaming space.

The CMA's approval came after Microsoft made a significant concession, agreeing to sell cloud gaming rights to Ubisoft. Under this modified deal, Ubisoft would handle cloud streaming rights for current and future Activision Blizzard titles for the next 15 years. The CMA viewed this concession as a "gamechanger that will promote competition."

The CMA had previously blocked the merger in April, citing concerns about Microsoft's dominance. However, as other obstacles to the deal were addressed, the CMA reevaluated its stance. The regulator had "residual concerns" about enforcement but noted that Microsoft provided undertakings to ensure the terms of the sale to Ubisoft are enforceable.

With the UK approval in place, the path is now largely clear for Microsoft and Activision Blizzard to complete the biggest merger in gaming history.

However, there is still a potential obstacle as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the United States is moving forward with its challenge to the deal. While this may not prevent the acquisition, it could lead to divestments of certain assets.