- The UK regulatory authority, CMA, has provisionally approved the Microsoft-Activision Blizzard merger following the restructured offer.
- According to the CMA, a final ruling will take place on October 18. Microsoft CEO Brad Smith stated that the company will work towards gaining approval until the deadline.
The $69 billion Microsoft–Activision merger looks set to cross the final wall, as UK regulatory authorities indicated they would support the deal in light of the latest concessions. The CMA provisionally approved the acquisition after these changes on Microsoft’s end. A final ruling is expected on October 18, seemingly bringing the chapter of the industry’s greatest deal to a close.
One of the main factors contributing to the change in The Competition andMarkets Authority’s stance is the revamped offer of Microsoft to sell some gaming rights to Ubisoft Entertainment SA, This move leads to expectations that competition will be kept alive within the cloud gaming space for years to come. Prior to the final ruling, the authority will continue to consult on the offer.
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With additional protections to make sure that the deal is properly implemented, this will maintain the structure of the market, enabling open competition to continue to shape the development of cloud gaming in the years to come, and giving UK gamers the opportunity to access Activision’s games in many different ways, including through cloud-based multigame subscription services.” -Colin Raftery
This provisional approval is a positive outcome for Microsoft as the CMA previously vetoed the deal due to points raised by antitrust regulators. Following the victory in court over the Federal Trade Commission and receiving clearance from the European Union due to behavioral remedies, the company was set to face CMA in order to get this saga to its conclusion.
We are encouraged by this positive development in the CMA’s review process. We presented solutions that we believe fully address the CMA’s remaining concerns related to cloud game streaming, and we will continue to work toward earning approval to close prior to the October 18…
— Brad Smith (@BradSmi) September 22, 2023
Proposing a revised deal in August, the CMA appears to have taken a different stance with the offer. While the authority’s position on the matter has been consistent, in light of the restructured offer, CMA’s CEO expressed how it would have been more efficient had Microsoft presented this version of the proposal during the original investigation.
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