Software giant Microsoft has won the UK’s approval to complete its merger with Activision Blizzard. The company which won US backing earlier this year has been awaiting the British nod to complete its purchase of the game development corps.
Initially, the UK authority (CMA) blocked the deal, but the company and the regulator agreed to pause Microsoft’s appeal. Giving all parties time to resolve the regulator’s reservations over what the merger would mean for cloud gaming. An appeal tribunal approved the delay.
In order to close the deal, Microsoft submitted an alternate proposal to the UK Competition and Markets Authority. The document addresses the regulatory agency’s concerns over cloud gaming.
The new contract between Ubisoft and Activision included cloud gaming rights outside the European Economic Area for 15 years. The move was sufficient to address the most glaring concerns of the UK authority. Nonetheless, there were some minor reservations that wouldn’t impede the deal.
Microsoft CEO Phil Spencer published an announcement on the deal’s completion. He said:
“Today, we officially welcome Activision Blizzard and their teams to Xbox.
“As promised, we will also continue to make more games available in more places – and that begins now by enabling cloud streaming providers and players to stream Activision Blizzard games in the European Economic Area, a commitment made to the European Commission. Today we start the work to bring beloved Activision, Blizzard, and King franchises to Game Pass and other platforms. We’ll share more about when you can expect to play in the coming months. We know you’re excited – and we are too.”
“We have now crossed the final regulatory hurdle to close this acquisition, which we believe will benefit players and the gaming industry worldwide,”
As the sun sets today, so will new pages in the course of history. Twenty-one months after the deal was announced, Microsoft has acquired Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion. This makes it the biggest acquisition in the company’s history.