UK antitrust officials have approved Microsoft’s planned takeover of Activision Blizzard, the creator of “Call of Duty” and other popular games. The Competition and Markets Authority announced that the merger had been cleared after the companies agreed to give up certain cloud gaming rights, removing the final regulatory hurdle to the deal closing.
The concession is considered a “game-changer” that will allow competitive prices and better services. The deal, valued at $69 billion, was blocked in April by the UK competition regulator. The CMA was the sole global regulator that impeded the significant acquisition.
In August, Microsoft and Activision proposed a restructured merger, allowing Activision’s cloud streaming rights outside the European Union and three other European countries to be sold to rival Ubisoft Entertainment.
Microsoft has approved a reworked takeover of Activision, a major video game developer, to prevent competition in cloud gaming. The deal will allow cloud gaming providers to use non-Windows operating systems for Activision content, reducing costs and increasing efficiency.
Microsoft, which sells Xbox gaming consoles and offers Xbox Game Pass and cloud-based streaming services, is expected to boost its gaming industry standing and compete with market leaders Tencent and Sony. Microsoft President Brad Smith expressed gratitude for the CMA’s review and decision, stating that they have crossed the final regulatory hurdle to close the acquisition.