UK Praises Microsoft's Game-Changing Concessions And Greenlights $69B Activision Deal

Closeup of a Call of Duty character.
The UK has given its blessing to Microsoft to acquire Activision-Blizzard after the tech giant agreed to exclude cloud gaming rights from the deal. The new deal has Ubisoft acquiring cloud gaming rights instead of Microsoft.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) had been the last hurdle that Microsoft needed to clear before closing the mega $68.7 billion dollar buyout of Activision-Blizzard. However, in August, Microsoft agreed to remove itself from obtaining the cloud rights to Activision-Blizzard and appease the CMA's worries over the tech company seizing too much control in the market. With that concession, the CMA has now agreed to clear the transaction.

Stylized Activision/Blizzard text on a black background.

"The CMA is resolute in its determination to prevent mergers that harm competition and deliver bad outcomes for consumers and businesses," remarked Sarah Cardell, Chief Executive of the CMA. She continued, "We take our decisions free from political influence and we won't be swayed by corporate lobbying."

Cardell went on to say that the CMA had delivered a clear message to Microsoft that the deal would be blocked unless it agreed to address its concerns. Once Microsoft agreed to sell cloud rights to Ubisoft, the CMA felt it had kept Microsoft from having a "stranglehold over this important and rapidly developing market."

Chair of the Independent Panel, Martin Coleman, who reviewed the original Microsoft deal remarked, "We now have a transaction in which the cloud distribution of Activision games, old and new, is taken away from Microsoft and put into the hands of Ubisoft, an independent party who is committed to widening access to the games. That's better for competition, better for consumers and better for economic growth."

With the CMA giving its blessing, Microsoft is free to close the deal, with many believing it will happen before October 18, 2023. Now we will all wait and see if Microsoft makes an attempt in the future to buy Ubisoft.