Microsoft is months away from being the owner of Activision Blizzard and all its iconic gaming IPs. The gaming giant has struggled for over a year in an attempt to convince regulators to approve the transaction.
Among the major regulators, the CMA blocked the deal due to concerns about Microsoft potentially becoming too dominant in the cloud gaming market. However, Microsoft’s latest update has provided a solution to the CMA’s concerns.
Microsoft has announced an agreement to sell off cloud streaming rights for Activision Blizzard titles to Ubisoft.
Why it matters: This would prevent a scenario where Microsoft would be able to control the cloud gaming market due to the influence of Activision Blizzard games.
Microsoft believes this new agreement leads to a drastically different scenario for the merger than the one blocked by the CMA earlier this year.
Following Ubisoft’s ownership of cloud streaming rights, Microsoft would lose the ability to limit Activision Blizzard games to its own cloud streaming services, addressing the CMA’s concerns.
The Ubisoft Plus subscription will also benefit from the deal, gaining the ability to offer games from Activision’s catalog and potentially bring them to non-Windows-based systems on PC.
Previously, Microsoft agreed to various measures in Europe, leading to approval from the European Commission. These agreements ensured a free license to European consumers to stream Activision games through any cloud streaming service.
Following the deal with Ubisoft, Microsoft will continue to honor its obligations to the European Commission. Therefore, Ubisoft will have exclusive rights to the streaming of Activision games worldwide except in the European Economic Area.
Before the $68.7 billion transaction is approved, the CMA will look through Microsoft’s new terms, but the gaming giant expects a decision will be made before the extended deadline.
Recently, the Activision Blizzard merger was extended to October 18, ensuring plenty of time for all the parties involved to make an informed and thorough decision.
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