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Microsoft in fresh bid to get Activision Blizzard takeover past UK regulator

Technology Авг 17, 2023 at 12:37

Microsoft in fresh bid to get Activision Blizzard takeover past UK regulator

Call of Duty maker Activision will sell its non-European streaming rights to Ubisoft Entertainment in return for UK regulators lifting their block on Microsoft’s planned takeover.

The UK’s competition regulator has launched a fresh investigation into Microsoft’s proposed £55bn takeover of Call of Duty maker Activision Blizzard after the tech firm offered a new remedy in a bid to get the deal over the line.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) confirmed on Tuesday that it stood by its final decision to  block the original deal  despite intense pressure from the pair for a change of heart.

That ruling, to protect innovation and choice in cloud gaming, forced Microsoft to come up with a new offer to satisfy the watchdog after it cleared EU scrutiny.

US regulators have paused their own bid to block the planned tie-up despite similar concerns.

The new proposal to the CMA would see Activision’s cloud streaming rights outside of the EU being sold to Ubisoft Entertainment.

The planned divestment would cover all current and future Activision PC and console games released during the next 15 years.

The CMA said that the terms would allow Ubisoft to commercialise these rights to other cloud gaming services providers, including Microsoft and its own Xbox Cloud Gaming offer.

The proposal, it said, had prompted a new so-called Phase 1 investigation which the CMA would aim to complete by 18 October.

«Microsoft has stated that the restructured deal is intended to address the concerns set out in the CMA’s Final Report in April,» the regulator said in its statement.