Published in Gaming

UK puts Microsoft-Activision deal back on  the table

by on22 August 2023

After everyone in the world said it was OK

The red-faced UK Competition and Markets Authority has made a rare move to put Microsoft’s $69 billion Activision Blizzard acquisition back on the table.

For those who came in late, the UK listened to Microsoft’s rivals and tried to squash the deal, assuming that it would just be following the rest of the world.

However, Microsoft won over competition authorities worldwide with agreements that satisfied even its rivals. Given that even with this deal it was not the market leader, this made the UK look rather silly.

Competition and Markets Authority is reconsidering the offer from Microsoft after it said it would sell the rights of all current and future Activision games released during the next 15 years to Ubisoft Entertainment SA. The divestment doesn’t include the European Economic Area, the CMA said.

In Paris, Ubisoft jumped as much as 6.8 per cent on the news, the most significant jump in a month.

CMA CEO Sarah Cardell said that the authority had a concern previously that Microsoft would be able to control the way that that market was going to develop.

“What we see with this new deal, and we will have to test it carefully through our review, is that rather than Microsoft being able to control how those cloud streaming rights are used, that control will shift to an independent company.”

“Under the restructured transaction, Microsoft will not be in a position either to release Activision Blizzard games exclusively on its own cloud streaming service — Xbox Cloud Gaming – or to exclusively control the licensing terms of Activision Blizzard games for rival services,” Microsoft said in the statement.

Ubisoft said in its own statement that the rights, which “will exist in perpetuity,” will be added to the Ubisoft+ subscription service.


Last modified on 22 August 2023
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