Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard has just been approved in the UK

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Microsoft won today when the UK’s Competitive Markets and Authority (CMA) approved the acquisition.

This approval by the UK CMA will now prompt Microsoft to complete its $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard King, Call of Duty and World of Warcraft publisher.

“We have approved the new agreement for Microsoft to buy Activision without the cloud gaming rights,” the UK CMA reported today in Twitter/X. “In August, Microsoft made a concession whereby Ubisoft, instead of Microsoft, would buy Activision’s cloud gaming rights.”

Microsoft’s problem in the UK market was more related to cloud gaming services than acquiring a big franchise like Call of Duty. Game Pass is undoubtedly a successful and popular subscription service; Knowing that Activision Blizzard’s intellectual properties will enter the Game Pass library after the acquisition would give Microsoft an unfair advantage. Therefore, the company had to come up with a different proposal that would eventually sell Activision Blizzard’s cloud gaming rights to Ubisoft.

“This new agreement will prevent Microsoft from blocking competition in cloud gaming, preserving competitive prices and services for UK cloud gamers,” the CMA continued in a following tweet.

In Twitter/X, Microsoft vice president and president Brad Smith shared that he is “grateful” for the CMA’s “thorough review and decision,” finally clearing the final hurdle of the deal. “We have cleared the final regulatory hurdle to close this acquisition, which we believe will benefit players and the gaming industry as a whole,” Smith concluded.

This acquisition will put Microsoft in a position where it can level the competition with Sony and Nintendo in terms of game sales, as it will own large franchises such as Call of Duty, Diablo, Overwatch and World of Warcraft.

In recent months, Microsoft has gone through rigorous processes, including going to court against the FTC and the UK CMA’s decision to block the deal that led the company to review its regional plans.

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