The UK antitrust regulator has officially approved Microsoft’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) buyout of gaming giant Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI), marking a significant milestone in Microsoft’s pursuit of the largest gaming deal in history proposed in early 2022.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) declared that Microsoft’s restructured proposal, which included selling off certain gaming rights to French publisher Ubisoft Entertainment SA, effectively alleviated competition worries.
The approval sets the stage for Microsoft to finalize the deal by October 18, after the company had extended the deadline by three months back in July to secure UK approval.
The CMA had previously blocked the $69 billion acquisition in April over concerns that Microsoft would gain excessive control of the emerging cloud gaming market.
The CMA has dubbed Microsoft’s concession on streaming as a game-changer, asserting its status as the sole global competition agency to deliver this outcome.
According to the CMA, this new deal will prevent Microsoft from monopolizing the cloud gaming market, thereby preserving competitive prices and services for UK customers.
CMA Chief Executive Sarah Cardell said that Microsoft was given a clear message that the deal would be blocked unless comprehensive concerns were addressed. She further noted that the regulator took its decisions independently and without political influence.
Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) has expressed gratitude for the comprehensive review and decision made by the CMA. Vice Chair and President Brad Smith noted that they had cleared the final regulatory hurdle and believed the acquisition would benefit players and the global gaming industry.
Meanwhile, Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI) welcomed the CMA official approval, calling it great news for their future with Microsoft. The company eagerly anticipates becoming part of the Xbox Team.