Microsoft’s ambitious $75 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard is making significant progress towards completion, with U.K. regulators indicating that a restructured deal has effectively addressed their concerns regarding cloud gaming.
The CMA clarified that the involvement of French videogame maker Ubisoft prevents Microsoft from gaining control over crucial Activision content like the immensely popular Call of Duty and World of Warcraft games. This safeguard ensures that healthy competition remains intact in the rapidly evolving cloud gaming market.
As news of this breakthrough circulated, Microsoft stock experienced a 0.5% increase prior to Friday’s market opening. Simultaneously, shares of Activision rose by 1.8%. Ubisoft also enjoyed a boost in early European trading, with its stock climbing by 3.6%.
In its relentless pursuit of completing the merger, Microsoft has secured various agreements, including a notable 10-year deal with Sony (SONY) to secure the presence of Activision’s Call of Duty games on PlayStation consoles. Additionally, as part of regulatory approval, the European Commission mandated that Microsoft must license Activision’s games to competing cloud gaming services.
Although not yet finalized, Microsoft has proposed remedies to address any remaining concerns expressed by the CMA. Regulators will now engage in consultations regarding these proposals until October 6. However, given these recent developments, it appears highly likely that the merger will be completed well ahead of the October 18 deadline set by both companies.