Microsoft has overcome the last obstacle in its acquisition of Activision by successfully addressing the concerns of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), enabling them to move forward with the acquisition.
In this updated arrangement, Microsoft has pledged to curb any anti-competitive actions within the cloud gaming industry and to maintain competitive pricing for cloud gaming services used by gamers in the UK. Unlike international regulatory authorities, the CMA was the only body focused on addressing Microsoft’s stance on these matters, which resulted in a substantial delay in concluding the deal. To resolve this issue, Microsoft had to modify the agreement by granting streaming rights to Ubisoft.
The sale of Activision’s cloud streaming rights to Ubisoft will prevent the distribution of important, popular content – including games such as Call of Duty, Overwatch, and World of Warcraft – from coming under the control of Microsoft in relation to cloud gaming. The restructured deal substantially addressed the concerns that the CMA had following its original investigation, which concluded earlier this year.
The CMA did identify limited residual concerns with the new deal, but Microsoft gave undertakings that will ensure that the terms of the sale of Activision’s rights to Ubisoft are enforceable by the UK’s CMA.
The CMA’s opposition wasn’t the only obstacle for the acquisition. Microsoft faced separate challenges from the US regulatory body, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Notably, a substantial data breach occurred, revealing details about future Xbox console designs that were inadvertently included in court documents.
We’re grateful for the CMA’s thorough review and decision today. We have now crossed the final regulatory hurdle to close this acquisition, which we believe will benefit players and the gaming industry worldwide.
— Brad Smith (@BradSmi) October 13, 2023
With a colossal price tag of $68.7 billion, this acquisition stands as the largest deal ever witnessed in the technology sector. With all regulatory challenges resolved, Microsoft’s Vice Chairman and President, Brad Smith, and Activision CEO Bobby Kotick, have both expressed their contentment with reaching this significant milestone.The official closure of the deal by Microsoft is anticipated in the near future.
Today the CMA, the regulatory authority in the UK, approved our transaction with Microsoft.
We now have all regulatory approvals necessary to close and we look forward to bringing joy and connection to even more players around the world.
Our board chair Brian Kelly and I are incredibly proud of all of you and your accomplishments over the last four decades. We’re excited for our next chapter together with Microsoft and the endless possibilities it creates for you and for our players.