EU Gives Green Signal to Microsoft $69B Acquisition of Activision Blizzard

UTC by Bhushan Akolkar · 3 min read
EU Gives Green Signal to Microsoft $69B Acquisition of Activision Blizzard
Photo: Depositphotos

European Commission stated that Microsoft is offering remedies to allay competition concerns allowing consumers to stream the titles on any cloud computing platform of their choice. 

On Monday, May 15, the regulators of the European Union approved the long-awaited $69 billion acquisition of gaming giant Activision Blizzard by Microsoft. The European Commission, which is the executive arm of the EU stated that Microsoft has offered remedies in the area of cloud gaming which has been currently marred with antitrust concerns. These remedies will allow users to stream Activision games that they purchase on any cloud streaming platform.

This is a big win for tech giant Microsoft after the top competition authority in the UK blocked the deal last month. Regulators worldwide have shared concerns about whether Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision could distort competition in the cloud gaming and console market.

Some regulators also asked whether Microsoft might take Activision games and keep them exclusively on its own platform. As we know, Activision Blizzard is behind some of the biggest console and PC games in the world. This includes popular names such as World of Warcraft and the Call of Duty Franchise.

The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said last month that the deal would reduce competition in the nascent cloud gaming market. Furthermore, it also noted that Microsoft would find it. commercially beneficial to put all Activision games exclusive to its platform. However, the CMA stated that the acquisition would not reduce competition in the console market.

Along with regulators, Microsoft has also faced opposition from rivals such as PlayStation games console maker Sony. But in February, Microsoft President Brad Smith met with EU officials wherein it said that they would bring the Xbox PC games to Nvidia’s cloud gaming service. Nvidia had also expressed opposition to the acquisition deal. Furthermore, Microsoft had also signed a 10-year deal with Nintendo to bring Call of Duty to its platform.

Microsoft Offers Remedies to Cloud Gaming

Currently, Microsoft’s Xbox is much behind other competitors like Sony’s PlayStation 5 as well as the Nintendo Switch. However, the US technology giant is putting a major focus on the so-called cloud gaming market. A large part of the EU’s recent investigation centers around cloud gaming.

Cloud gaming allows users to stream games directly from servers which removes the need for expensive dedicated hardware such as consoles. Users can play this game on all existing devices such as smartphones, TVs, and laptops.

However, for players to succeed in the cloud computing sphere, they will have to offer a large catalog of games wherein users can access them immediately from a subscription service. Microsoft looks to capture this market with the acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

The European Commission stated that Microsoft is offering remedies to allay competition concerns. Consumers who have bought Activision Games will be able to stream the titles on any cloud computing platform of their choice.

Additionally, Microsoft will also be able to offer royalty-free licenses to cloud gaming platforms in order to stream Activision games.

Business News, Cloud Computing, Deals News, Gaming News, Market News
Related Articles