The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has announced that Microsoft's new deal has addressed its concerns about potential monopoly in the cloud gaming industry in the UK. The CMA had previously blocked Microsoft's $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard due to the belief that it would create an unfair advantage for Microsoft in the cloud gaming sector.
One of the main concerns of the CMA was that Microsoft's acquisition would result in major titles, such as Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Overwatch, being exclusively available on Microsoft's cloud gaming services. In response to these concerns, Microsoft proposed a change to the deal that would grant Ubisoft control of the streaming rights for 15 years.
While the CMA expressed satisfaction with the revised deal, it still has some remaining concerns. The regulatory body has requested stronger commitments to ensure that certain provisions of the new deal cannot be circumvented or terminated. Microsoft has offered remedies to address these concerns, and the CMA has provisionally concluded that these additional protections should resolve the remaining issues.
The CMA has opened a consultation period until October 6th, during which it will discuss all proposed changes to the deal put forth by Microsoft. After this period, the CMA will make a final decision on whether Microsoft can proceed with the acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
It is worth noting that the UK has been the only major market to hold out on approving the deal, as Microsoft has already cleared regulatory hurdles in the EU, the United States, Brazil, and other countries.
Sources: CMA (Competition and Markets Authority)