CMA gives Microsoft the green light to acquire Activision Blizzard

Last January, Microsoft procured the gaming titan Activision Blizzard at a rate of $95 per share, culminating in a transaction sum of $68.7 billion, marking the most exorbitant acquisition in Microsoft’s storied history. However, the journey to acquisition was fraught with impediments, particularly in the face of recurrent obstructions from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The latter remained reticent in endorsing the acquisition, and Microsoft, undeterred, postponed the transaction with Activision Blizzard to October 18th of this year.

Presently, Microsoft appears to have surmounted the final barriers, heralding the imminent culmination of an acquisition saga spanning one and a half years. Today, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority articulated that Microsoft’s sale of cloud gaming rights to Ubisoft has assuaged their erstwhile reservations to a significant degree. This transaction promises to sustain competition in the cloud gaming realm for the coming years, effectively paving the way for the acquisition’s endorsement. The CMA, while still apprehensive about the potential circumvention, termination, or non-implementation of certain terms concerning Activision Blizzard’s sale of cloud gaming rights to Ubisoft, acknowledged the remedial measures proposed by Microsoft to ensure that the relevant terms can be enforced by the CMA. The CMA preliminarily deduces that these rectifications should address residual concerns and plans to deliberate on this proposition before October 6th.

Last month, Microsoft and Activision Blizzard presented a novel merger agreement to the CMA, intending to assuage regulatory concerns that their union might undermine the competitive vitality of the cloud gaming market. Central to the proposal was the transaction of Activision Blizzard’s cloud streaming rights to the rival, Ubisoft. As per these terms, Microsoft would be precluded from claiming exclusivity over Activision Blizzard’s titles on its cloud streaming service, Xbox Cloud Gaming.