UK regulators have cleared the way for Microsoft’s huge $69bn (£56.5bn) takeover of Activision Blizzard after confirming the tech giant had addressed their concerns.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) are the final boss in Microsoft’s long-fought battle to get the deal accepted by global regulators.
After beating the Federal Trade Commission in court, the EU let the deal go through in May – leaving just the UK’s CMA in the way of gaming’s biggest ever aqusition.
The CMA said on Friday that they will consult the new proposal but that the door has now been opened for the deal to be cleared.
“This is a new and substantially different deal, which keeps the cloud distribution of these important games in the hands of a strong independent supplier, Ubisoft, rather than under the control of Microsoft,” said Colin Raftery, senior director of mergers at the CMA.
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Microsoft claims the “restructured transaction” to the UK’s CMA means it will not be in a position to “release Activision Blizzard games exclusively on its own cloud streaming service — Xbox Cloud Gaming – or to exclusively control the licensing terms of Activision Blizzard games for rival services.”
Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said: “The CMA’s preliminary approval is great news for our future with Microsoft. We’re pleased the CMA has responded positively to the solutions Microsoft has proposed, and we look forward to working with Microsoft toward completing the regulatory review process.”
Xbox CEO Phil Spencer said the company will work towards closing the deal by October 18 2023.
“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,” Spencer said.