A Revised Offer to Satisfy Regulators
To secure U.K. approval, Microsoft proposed altering the terms of its buyout offer. The tech giant pledged to license Activision's cloud streaming capabilities to French video game publisher, Ubisoft Entertainment, over the next 15 years. This commitment ultimately persuaded the regulator to reassess the deal. As a result, a new investigation was initiated in August, culminating in Friday's approval.
Easing the Road Ahead
With the regulatory hurdle now cleared, Microsoft can proceed with confidence towards the extended deal deadline of October 18th. Under the initial agreement made last year, Microsoft agreed to acquire Activision Blizzard for $95 per share. The CMA, however, announced in April their opposition to the deal.
Ensuring a Balanced Market
According to Sarah Cardell, the Chief Executive of the CMA, the sale of Activision's cloud streaming rights to Ubisoft assures that Microsoft cannot monopolize this crucial and rapidly evolving market. This intervention will promote competitive pricing, improved services, and increased choice for consumers. Cardell emphasized that the CMA is unique among global competition agencies in achieving this outcome.
Criticisms and Delays
While acknowledging the positive developments, Cardell criticized Microsoft for their lack of restructuring during the initial investigation. Instead, the tech giant insisted on measures that were deemed unacceptable by the regulator. Cardell expressed dismay, stating that prolonging proceedings only results in wasted time and money. Microsoft has not yet issued a comment on the matter.
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