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EU Backs $69B Microsoft, Activision Blizzard Deal

 |  May 15, 2023

On Monday, the European Union approved Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard for $69 billion. The decision was made after determining that the acquisition would not hinder competition for popular console games such as Call of Duty, and accepting Microsoft’s proposed solutions to enhance competition in cloud gaming.

The fate of the blockbuster deal remains uncertain as British regulators have rejected it and U.S. authorities are working to prevent it, reported CNBC. 

According to the European Commission, Microsoft’s offer to ease licensing requirements for cloud gaming has resolved previous competition concerns and will result in beneficial outcomes for consumers and competition.

Related: UK Watchdog Blocks Microsoft’s $75B Activision Blizzard Deal

The deal, which was announced over a year ago and involved an all-cash transaction, has been closely examined by regulators across the globe due to concerns that it could result in Microsoft and its Xbox console gaining control over popular franchises such as Call of Duty and World of Warcraft.

Sony, the company that produces the PlayStation gaming system, has been a strong competitor and has faced opposition.

Microsoft addressed the Commission’s concerns regarding the exclusivity of Activision games before the EU decision. Brad Smith, the company’s president, met with EU officials in February and subsequently announced that Xbox PC games would be made available on Nvidia’s cloud gaming service. Nvidia had reportedly opposed the acquisition takeover.