Microsoft has almost cleared the final hurdle in its acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) — the only regulator holding the deal back from closing — has provisionally approved the merger following a number of remedies proposed by Microsoft.
Microsoft-Activision deal all set to close in October
CMA had raised concerns about the nascent cloud market, which it felt that Microsoft would be able to monopolize if the merger went through. As a result, Microsoft sold Activision Blizzard’s game streaming rights to Ubisoft.
“In contrast to the original deal, Microsoft will no longer control cloud gaming rights for Activision’s content, so would not be in a position to limit access to Activision’s key content to its own cloud gaming service or to withhold those games from rivals,” the CMA has concluded. “The deal with Ubisoft also requires Microsoft to port Activision games to operating systems other than Windows and support game emulators when requested, addressing the other main shortcoming with the previous remedies package.”
Although the acquisition has not been approved by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, Microsoft can close the deal in October after a recent court ruling in its favor that denied the regulator’s request for a preliminary injunction.