Today the regulators of theEuropean Union (EU) have approved the proposal Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard for $69 billionprovided that the US giant offers guarantees.
The European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, has stated that Microsoft has offered guarantees in the cloud gaming sector which avoided antitrust concerns. These remedies are based on the ability for users to play Activision titles on any platform via cloud gaming.
Europe’s green light is a big win for Microsoft after the UK’s competition regulator blocked the deal last month.
Microsoft – Activision Blizzard: EU approves, UK blocks and USA is discussing
Regulators globally have long debated the dangers of the takeover. What was most worrying was the hypothetical monopoly of the videogame market generated by the manoeuvre. One aspect that regulators have questioned is the possibility of Microsoft taking Activision’s games and making them exclusive to their own Xbox platforms.
Last month the CMA – the UK Competition and Markets Authority – had blocked the deal. It said Microsoft would find it commercially advantageous to make key Activision games, such as Call of Duty, exclusive to its own cloud gaming platforms. However, the CMA said the acquisition would not reduce competition in the console market. The US guarantor (FTC) is still evaluating the situation.
In the meantime, Microsoft has averted the various concerns in this regard, signing a ten-year agreement with Nintendo which provides for the arrival of the next Call of Duty games on Switch.