CMA to Deliver Verdict on Microsoft's Revised Activision Blizzard Deal Next Week

The UKs CMA is set to announce its initial verdict on Microsofts revised $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard next week. The decision follows earlier concerns about competition in cloud gaming.

The UK's regulatory body, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), is reportedly gearing up to unveil its initial verdict on Microsoft's amended acquisition of Activision Blizzard next week. This development comes after the CMA had previously thrown a wrench into Microsoft's $69 billion deal in April, citing concerns about the burgeoning cloud gaming sector and the potential for the deal to stifle competition in this rapidly growing market.

After the UK regulator's initial rejection and the Federal Trade Commission's inability to secure a temporary halt on the acquisition in a US court, Microsoft went back to the drawing board and presented a revised proposal to the CMA. The revised plan included a commitment to sell the streaming rights for all Activision Blizzard games for the next 15 years to Ubisoft, should the new deal gain approval. Microsoft's President, Brad Smith, emphasized that under this restructured transaction, Microsoft would not have the exclusive right to release Activision Blizzard games on its own cloud streaming service, Xbox Cloud Gaming, nor would it hold exclusive control over licensing terms for rival services.

Following the submission of Microsoft's revised proposal, the CMA initiated a fresh investigation to assess the new terms. Initially, the CMA had set the deadline for its decision as October 18th of this year. However, according to sources familiar with the matter cited by The Verge, the CMA is now anticipated to deliver a preliminary ruling on Microsoft's revised Activision Blizzard deal in the coming week.

This preliminary decision will precede the CMA's final judgment, which is still expected to be rendered by the previously agreed-upon deadline of October 18th. Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard hangs in the balance as the CMA evaluates the revised terms to ensure they address the competition concerns raised earlier.


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