CMA Nears Verdict on Microsoft's $69 Billion Activision Blizzard Deal

The UKs CMA is set to rule on Microsofts $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard next week. This follows a restructuring of the deal, including transferring cloud streaming rights to Ubisoft, to address regulatory concerns.

The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is poised to deliver its verdict on Microsoft's proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard, expected next week. According to insider sources cited by The Verge, the regulatory body is set to issue a preliminary decision on the monumental $69 billion deal before the close of this month, with the final verdict slated for release by October 18.

This decision from the CMA is a critical milestone and the last major obstacle standing in the way of the acquisition's completion. The CMA had initially blocked the merger back in April, citing concerns regarding its potential impact on the emerging cloud gaming sector. Subsequently, Microsoft and the CMA halted their legal dispute and explored the possibility of an out-of-court settlement.

In a strategic move to address the CMA's apprehensions, Microsoft revamped its proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard. They inked an agreement to transfer cloud streaming rights to Ubisoft, a prominent global game publisher. This alteration paved the way for the CMA to initiate a fresh inquiry into the merger.

Microsoft's President, Brad Smith, shared insights into this restructuring in August, stating, "To alleviate concerns raised by the UK Competition and Markets Authority regarding the impact of the proposed acquisition on cloud game streaming, we are reconfiguring the transaction to encompass a more limited set of rights." These revised terms involve the transfer of cloud streaming rights for all current and forthcoming Activision Blizzard PC and console games over the next 15 years to Ubisoft Entertainment SA, with these rights being secured in perpetuity.

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