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EU Regulators Approve Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard Purchase

The Windows company has taken a major step closer to acquiring Activision but still needs UK and US regulator approval

Merely weeks after UK regulators blocked the move, the European Commission has approved Microsoft‘s $68.7 billion deal to acquire Activision Blizzard.

The EU has given Microsoft the green light to move on with the deal due to its commitments to cloud gaming. “The commitments fully address the competition concerns identified by the Commission and represent a significant improvement for cloud gaming as compared to the current situation,” wrote the EU body.

And although the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) blocked the deal due to concerns about the cloud gaming market, the EU sees cloud gaming as a prosperous path for video games if the acquisition goes through.

The CMA expressed that the deal had the potential to limit innovation and reduce the range of options available to gamers in the UK in the future. However, the Windows company is still appealing the decision. The EU adds that it took the decision after, “An in-depth investigation of the proposed acquisition of Activision by Microsoft.”

Microsoft has also penned cloud gaming deals with tech giants like Nvidia, Nintendo, Boosteroid and Ubitus in order to bring Xbox PC games to run on rival cloud gaming services. These 10-year deals also include access to Call of Duty games and other Activision Blizzard titles once UK and US regulators approve the deal.

A big win for Microsoft

The EU’s in-depth market investigation found that Microsoft cannot harm rival consoles and rival multi-game subscription services. It also confirmed that the Windows company could, “Harm competition in the distribution of games via cloud game streaming services and that its position in the market for PC operating systems would be strengthened.”

In addition, the EU says that, “Microsoft would have no incentive to refuse to distribute Activision’s games to Sony, which is the leading distributor of console games worldwide.” And that, “Even if Microsoft did decide to withdraw Activision’s games from the PlayStation, this would not significantly harm competition in the consoles market.”

The EU’s approval is a big win for Microsoft in its battle to acquire Activision Blizzard and could be enough to convince the US and UK regulators to approve the deal on time.

As far as other regulators are concerned, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Chile, Serbia, Japan, and South Africa have also all approved the deal. China, South Korea, New Zealand, and Australia are all still reviewing the deal.

Written By

Isa Muhammad is a writer and video game journalist covering many aspects of entertainment media including the film industry. He's steadily writing his way to the sharp end of journalism and enjoys staying informed. If he's not reading, playing video games or catching up on his favourite TV series, then he's probably writing about them.

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