The EU has approved Microsoft’s massively expensive acquisition of Activision Blizzard, constituting a big step forward for this deal to actually happen.
It’s been literally years, but the deal for Microsoft to acquire Activision Blizzard for a whopping $69 billion is finally shaping up to actually happen. EU regulators have approved the deal to go through, shortly after the UK’s CMA has blocked it. This is a big step towards the deal finally closing soon.
Microsoft had to throw the Europeans some bones though. In its official statement, the EU explains that it didn’t see any reason for Microsoft “to refuse to distribute Activision’s games to Sony” and saw no harm in games like CoD becoming Xbox-exclusive down the line.
Get Game Pass now before it gets more expensive after the Acti Blizz acquisition
But, they did share the CMA’s concerns over Microsoft’s strong position in the rising cloud market. That’s why Microsoft was required to make a concession here, which they ended up agreeing too. Should the deal go through, Microsoft will let “competing cloud gaming services” offer Activision Blizzard games, as was explained by Microsoft president Brad Smith.
The CMA didn’t take this lightly, as its decision to block the deal over cloud gaming concerns now looks even stranger. It even doubled down in a new statement, saying that “while we recognize and respect that the European Commission is entitled to take a different view, the CMA stands by its decision".
So, is Microsoft going to add Activision Blizzard to the family of Xbox Games Studios? Will Call of Duty come to Game Pass? Maybe. This is far from a done deal yet. The tech giant has a couple of big battles left to fight out, like the appeal to the CMA, which will take months to be processed. The US regulators (FTC) have yet to announce their decision as well, with rumors suggesting that they will sue to block the deal.
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