The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in the UK has provisionally agreed to Microsoft’s planned acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
The deal has been passed in a number of regions although the UK regulator blocked the $68.7 billion deal back in April, due to concerns it would impact on the cloud gaming market. At the time, Microsoft vowed to combat the decision, and later amended its deal by agreeing to sell its cloud streaming rights to Ubisoft.
While the CMA has identified limited residual concerns with the new deal, Microsoft has put forward remedies which the CMA has provisionally concluded should address these issues.
While the restructured deal is materially different to the previous transaction and substantially addresses most concerns, the CMA has limited residual concerns that certain provisions in the sale of Activision’s cloud streaming rights to Ubisoft could be circumvented, terminated, or not enforced.
To address these concerns, Microsoft has offered remedies to ensure that the terms of the sale of Activision’s rights to Ubisoft are enforceable by the CMA. The CMA has provisionally concluded that this additional protection should resolve those residual concerns.
While a final decision has yet to be made by the CMA, the UK regulator has opened a consultation until October 6, 2023, and barring any last-minute objections, it is expected the deal will be fully approved.