The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has given its approval to Microsoft’s revised offer to acquire Activision Blizzard for a staggering $69 billion, following the initial rejection by the antitrust regulator. In an effort to address concerns over potential anticompetitive behavior, Microsoft made a concession in August, allowing Ubisoft to obtain Activision’s cloud gaming rights instead. The CMA’s approval signifies the end of Microsoft’s two-year struggle to secure the takeover, with global finalization pending this regulatory clearance. Microsoft anticipates that the acquisition will enhance Xbox console sales and expand its Xbox Game Pass game streaming service, benefiting from Activision Blizzard’s popular titles such as Call of Duty, Candy Crush, and World of Warcraft.
Microsoft’s $69 Billion Activision Blizzard Acquisition Gets Approval from UK Regulator
Overview of the Acquisition
Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard has received approval from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). This comes after Microsoft’s initial attempt to acquire the gaming company was blocked by the antitrust regulator. The revised offer and concession presented by Microsoft were instrumental in gaining the CMA’s approval.
CMA’s Initial Block
The CMA initially blocked Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard due to concerns over anticompetitive moves in the cloud gaming market. The CMA aimed to prevent Microsoft from having a stranglehold over this rapidly developing market. The regulator’s decision highlighted the importance of preserving competitive prices in the gaming industry and promoting more choice and better services for consumers.
Revised Offer and Concession
In an effort to address the CMA’s concerns, Microsoft revised its offer and made a significant concession. Instead of Microsoft buying Activision’s cloud gaming rights, Ubisoft will take on this role. Under the new deal, Ubisoft will have the cloud streaming rights (outside the EEA) for all of Activision’s PC and console content produced over the next 15 years. This arrangement ensures that there is a strong and independent competitor in the market, offering new ways of accessing Activision’s content. The inclusion of Ubisoft in the deal further contributes to the competitive landscape and market development.
CMA’s Approval and Impact on the Gaming Industry
The CMA’s approval of Microsoft’s revised offer is a significant milestone for both companies and the gaming industry as a whole. The regulator’s decision ensures that competitive prices will be maintained, offering consumers a wider range of choices and better services. By preventing a monopoly or stranglehold, the CMA supports a healthy and competitive gaming industry.
End of Microsoft’s Struggle
Microsoft’s journey to gain approval for the acquisition has been full of challenges and lasted for two years. The CMA’s approval marks the end of this struggle and paves the way for Microsoft to move forward with its strategic plans. The company can now fully pursue its vision for the future with the inclusion of Activision Blizzard.
Global Approval Process
While the UK regulator’s approval is a significant milestone, Microsoft also sought approval from regulators in other regions and territories. The acquisition received approval from regulators in Brazil, Chile, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Africa, and most recently, the European Union. Each approval carries its own significance and contributes to the completion of the global acquisition.
Boosting Xbox Console Sales
One of Microsoft’s main goals with the acquisition is to boost sales of its Xbox console. Activision Blizzard’s popular titles, such as Call of Duty, Candy Crush, and World of Warcraft, have a massive fan base. The addition of these titles to the Xbox catalog is expected to attract more gamers, increasing console sales. This acquisition reinforces Microsoft’s position in the gaming hardware market, making Xbox an even more compelling option for gamers.
Enhancing Xbox Game Pass
In addition to bolstering Xbox console sales, Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard also enhances its Xbox Game Pass offering. The integration of Activision Blizzard’s titles into the Game Pass catalog expands the range of games available to subscribers. This move provides advantages for both current and potential subscribers, who will enjoy access to a larger and more diverse selection of games.
Activision Blizzard’s Popular Titles
Activision Blizzard is known for developing and publishing some of the gaming industry’s most successful titles. The company’s portfolio includes beloved franchises like Call of Duty, Candy Crush, and World of Warcraft. Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard means that these popular titles will become a part of the Microsoft gaming ecosystem. This presents exciting opportunities for both companies and their respective fan bases.
Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard has been met with approval from the UK’s CMA. The revised offer and concession made by Microsoft helped address antitrust concerns and secure the regulator’s approval. This acquisition is set to have a significant impact on the gaming industry, boosting Xbox console sales and enhancing the Xbox Game Pass subscription service. With the inclusion of Activision Blizzard’s popular titles, Microsoft is well-positioned to shape the future of gaming and deliver an even more compelling experience for gamers worldwide.