Microsoft's $69 Billion Deal to Buy Activision Blizzard Cleared By UK
Microsoft's revised offer to buy Activision Blizzard has been approved by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) after its initial acquisition attempt was blocked by the UK antitrust regulator.
Under the revised deal, French video game publisher Ubisoft will be given the rights to distribute Activision's games on consoles and PCs over the cloud.
The CMA said the reworked deal would "preserve competitive prices" in the gaming industry and provide more choice and better services. "We've made sure Microsoft can't have a stranglehold over this important and rapidly developing market," the regulator added.
The approval brings an end to Microsoft's nearly two-year battle to secure the takeover. The company entered into a $68.7 billion deal to buy Activision Blizzard in January 2022, but the CMA blocked it over concerns it would be anticompetitive in the cloud gaming market.
Microsoft was unable to finalize the deal globally until approval was granted.
Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard was approved by regulators in several other regions and territories including Brazil, Chile, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Africa, and most recently, the European Union.
Activision is one of the most popular video games publishers in the world, and the deal represents one of the biggest shake-ups in the games industry in recent history. The studio is the maker of hit titles such as Call of Duty, Candy Crush, World of Warcraft, and more.
Microsoft hopes the takeover will boost demand for its Xbox console and allow it to add more titles to its Xbox Game Pass streaming service, where members pay a subscription fee to access a catalog of titles via the cloud.
Xbox Game Pass is available on the iPhone and iPad through Safari, but not the App Store. While Apple does allow all-in-one gaming subscription services to be on the platform, every game offered on the service must be submitted individually for approval through the App Store review process.