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Microsoft Proposes Updated UK Deal for Activision Blizzard Acquisition

 |  August 22, 2023

On Tuesday, Microsoft resubmitted a revised proposal for the acquisition of Activision Blizzard, taking a series of measures in response to the rejection of its initial offer by U.K. regulators.

In January 2022, Microsoft had initially proposed a $69 billion takeover of Activision, but it encountered regulatory hurdles in the U.S., Europe, and the U.K., as reported by CNBC.

The U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) officially blocked the original deal, but a new and restructured agreement has been reached between Microsoft and Activision. The CMA will now undertake an investigation into this revised deal, with a decision deadline set for October 18.

Related: FTC To Appeal Decision Allowing Microsoft’s Acquisition Of Activision Blizzard

Microsoft’s President, Brad Smith, stated on Tuesday that the company is optimistic that the review process can be concluded before the specified deadline.

The adjusted agreement stipulates that Microsoft will not secure cloud rights for existing Activision PC and console games, as well as any new games released by Activision within the next 15 years. These rights are instead slated to be transferred to Ubisoft Entertainment, a French game publisher, prior to Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision, according to the CMA.

The CMA has been particularly critical of this acquisition, expressing concerns that it could potentially stifle competition within the emerging cloud gaming sector.

Cloud gaming is poised to be the industry’s next frontier, introducing subscription services that enable users to stream games akin to how they access movies or shows on platforms like Netflix. This innovation might even eliminate the need for expensive gaming consoles, allowing players to engage with games on various devices such as PCs, mobile devices, and TVs.