The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) stated that it is provisionally approving the acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft, though there are still “residual concerns”.
“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,” said the regulator (via Video Games Chronicle).
Earlier this year, the CMA rejected the acquisition owing to the potential impact on the cloud gaming sector. In response, Microsoft announced that Activision Blizzard games like Call Of Duty, Overwatch 2 and World Of Warcraft could come to Ubisoft+.
The cloud streaming rights for these games would allow them to be available on the subscription service “in perpetuity”, though it would take 15 years for all current and new games to jump over.
‘Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3’ Credit: Activision
“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,” continued the CMA.
“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.”
As such, a consultation window of two weeks (ending on October 6) is active. After this point, the regulator will release its final decision on the acquisition, but Microsoft is “encouraged” by this progress.
Ukie, the trade body for the games and interactive entertainment industry in the UK, weighed in on the latest development.
An Xbox controller Credit: Lang 5 via Unsplash
“We’re pleased to see that the CMA and Microsoft have reached a decision to proceed with this significant deal in a way that addresses previous concerns about the potential impact on the video games industry and players,” read the statement from co-CEO Dan Wood in a press release.
“The UK is one of the best places in the world to make, sell and play video games with over 2000 games businesses across the country. This decision is a clear sign that we remain open for business.”
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