Microsoft: In a major victory for Microsoft, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has provisionally approved the company’s $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The deal, which was first announced in January 2022, has been facing scrutiny from antitrust regulators around the world.
The CMA had initially blocked the deal in April 2023, citing concerns about Microsoft gaining too much control over the cloud gaming market. However, Microsoft made a number of concessions to address the CMA’s concerns, including selling streaming rights to Activision games to Ubisoft Entertainment.
In its provisional approval decision, the CMA said that the concessions from Microsoft have “addressed the CMA’s concerns about the impact of the merger on cloud gaming competition.” The CMA also said that it does not believe that the deal will lead to higher prices or lower quality for gamers.
The provisional approval is a major milestone for Microsoft, but the deal is not yet final. The CMA has scheduled a consultation until October 6, 2023, to address any remaining concerns about the deal. If the CMA gives final approval, the deal is expected to close by October 18, 2023.
The acquisition of Activision Blizzard would be the largest gaming deal in history. Activision is one of the world’s largest video game publishers, with popular franchises such as Call of Duty, Warcraft, and Candy Crush. Microsoft is hoping that the acquisition will help it to expand its gaming business and compete more effectively with Sony and Tencent.
The acquisition has been met with mixed reactions from gamers and industry experts. Some gamers are concerned that Microsoft will have too much control over the gaming industry and that it will lead to higher prices and lower quality for gamers. Other gamers are excited about the prospect of Microsoft bringing Activision Blizzard games to Xbox Game Pass.
Industry experts are also divided on the deal. Some experts believe that the deal is good for the gaming industry and that it will lead to more competition and innovation. Other experts believe that the deal is bad for the gaming industry and that it will lead to less competition and innovation.
Overall, the provisional approval of Microsoft’s Activision acquisition from the UK’s CMA is a positive development for Microsoft. The deal is still not final, but it is a major step closer to completion.