United Kingdom: The CMA could agree to the acquisition of Activision after Microsoft’s remedy

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The remedy proposed by the American giant Microsoft to the British authorities for the takeover of Activision Blizzard “opens the door” to the authorization of the operation, the British Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said on Friday.

The IT giant announced this $69 billion acquisition project – the largest ever in the video games sector – at the start of 2022 but the operation encountered opposition from the CMA which fears that Microsoft gain too much control over the emerging streaming video game market.

Activision, the maker of “Call of Duty,” agreed in August to sell streaming rights to its games to Ubisoft Entertainment.

This remedy “substantially addresses previous concerns,” the British competition authority said in a statement.

“Although the CMA has identified limited residual concerns regarding the new agreement, Microsoft has proposed remedial measures which the CMA has provisionally concluded should address these issues,” it added.

Microsoft said it was “encouraged by this positive development in the CMA review process”.

“We have presented remedies that we believe fully address the CMA’s remaining concerns regarding game streaming in the ‘cloud’, and we will continue to work to obtain permission to conclude before the deadline of 18 October,” said Brad Smith, vice president and president of Microsoft.

These “remaining concerns” relate to the fact that certain provisions of Activision’s broadcast rights sale to Ubisoft could be circumvented, terminated or not enforced, the authority said.

Microsoft has proposed solutions to ensure that these sales provisions are enforced by the regulator, which is currently consulting on the matter before making a final decision.

(Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bangalore; French version Diana Mandiá, edited by Blandine Hénault)


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