The initial acquisition bid faced a setback when the UK’s antitrust body intervened.
In the updated arrangement, Ubisoft, the renowned French video game publisher, will gain rights to circulate Activision’s games across console and cloud-based PC platforms.
The CMA’s endorsement stems from its belief that the amended deal will maintain competitive pricing within the gaming sector, offering increased choice and superior services. The regulator emphasized the importance of preventing Microsoft from monopolizing this critical and evolving market.
This approval marks the culmination of Microsoft’s near two-year quest to finalize the acquisition. It was January 2022 when the tech giant initially announced its intent to acquire Activision Blizzard in a $68.7 billion deal.
However, the CMA’s apprehensions regarding potential cloud gaming market monopolization had stalled the process. Worldwide finalization of the deal was contingent upon this critical approval.
Several other global jurisdictions, including Brazil, Chile, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Africa, and the European Union, had previously given their nod to Microsoft’s acquisition.
Given Activision Blizzard’s status as one of the global frontrunners in video game publishing, the incorporation of the company into Microsoft is poised to reshape the gaming industry landscape. The studio’s portfolio boasts of industry-leading games like Call of Duty, Candy Crush, and World of Warcraft.
With this acquisition, Microsoft aspires to fortify its Xbox console’s appeal and expand the Xbox Game Pass streaming service’s game repertoire. This subscription-based service, offering a diverse array of titles via the cloud, is accessible on devices like the iPhone and iPad through Safari, sidestepping the App Store.
Apple’s current policy mandates individual App Store review process approval for each game within a bundled gaming subscription service.