September 24, 2023

The American software giant is still facing a battle to finalize its $69 billion deal as the UK has blocked it and the US is seeking to block it.

– Advertisement –

On Monday, Microsoft Corp received European Union antitrust approval for its $69 billion acquisition of Activision, which could prompt Chinese and Korean regulators to follow suit despite Britain’s veto on the deal.

The US software giant still has a battle to close the deal. He has until May 24 to appeal the decision of the British Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to block him. The final decision may take months. A US Federal Trade Commission case against the deal is also pending before the agency.

– Advertisement –

The European Commission said the biggest gaming deal was aimed at securing competition due to Microsoft’s licensing deals.

Such licenses are “practical and effective,” EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager told reporters.

– Advertisement –

“In fact, they greatly improve the conditions for cloud game streaming compared to the current situation, so we consider them to be conducive to competition,” she added.

The EU watchdog said Microsoft has offered European consumers 10-year free license agreements and cloud-based game streaming services for PC and Activision console games.

In recent months, Microsoft has signed such deals with Nvidia, Nintendo, Ukraine’s Boosteroid and Japan’s Ubitus to bring Activision’s Call of Duty to their gaming platforms, if the deal goes through.

“The European Commission has required Microsoft to automatically license popular Activision Blizzard games to competing cloud gaming services. This will apply globally and allow millions of consumers around the world to play these games on any device they choose,” said Microsoft President Brad Smith.

See also  Apple downgrade sparks tech sell-off, sending Alphabet and Microsoft to one-year lows

Vestager said the Commission has a different view of how the cloud gaming market will grow than the United Kingdom.

“They see this market growing faster than we think,” she said. “There’s a bit of a paradox here, because we think the steps we’ve taken will allow many, many other cloud gaming markets to be licensed.”

The UK Competition and Markets Authority said it was maintaining its veto power. Microsoft will file an appeal with the Competition Court of Appeals and a decision is expected to take several months.

The other big hurdle that remains is the US Federal Trade Commission, which is trying to block the deal. Japan approved the takeover in March.