UK regulator the CMA has officially approved of the proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft, meaning the company is now free to go ahead and finalise/close the $69 billion deal. The CMA has concluded that the deal can proceed after Microsoft amended its deal that now transfers cloud gaming rights for current and new Activision Blizzard games to Ubisoft.
Previous reports suggested that the historic multi-billion dollar deal could be closed as soon as this week but now that the CMA – the last major hurdle in the acquisition proceedings – has given the green light, Microsoft can now move forward in closing the deal to buy the Call of Duty publisher. Microsoft is expected to make an announcement very soon.
The statement from the CMA regarding Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard reads:
“The CMA has decided to give Microsoft Corporation (Microsoft) consent to acquire Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Activision) (the Parties) excluding Activision’s cloud streaming rights outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) (the Merger) subject to the condition that the sale of Activision’s cloud streaming rights completes prior to completion of the Merger.”
“We have now crossed the final regulatory hurdle to close this acquisition, which we believe will benefit players and the gaming industry worldwide,” said Microsoft vice chairman and president Brad Smith.
This follows a very long and arduous battle with the CMA which originally blocked the deal from going through back in April due to concerns over the future of cloud gaming on the market. Reports surfaced as far back as May claiming that the CMA was close to finalising the deal but now, a few months later, we finally have confirmation. While many older titles from the publisher will likely hit Game Pass after the deal is closed, don’t expect newer games like Diablo 4 or Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 to arrive on the subscription service until next year.
Source: The Verge