Microsoft: EU allows Activision takeover
The EU Commission has allowed Microsoft to take over its competitor Activision Blizzard, subject to conditions. Its decision differs from that of the British regulatory authority. The deal has not yet been finalized.
Approval subject to conditions
The EU Commission has given conditional approval to the largest takeover in Microsoft’s history. It believes that its competition concerns have been allayed by concessions made by Microsoft. For example, the U.S. company has announced that it will issue cloud licenses for Activision games to its competitors for ten years. This would mean that it will continue to be possible to obtain popular Activision games such as Call of Duty via other cloud gaming services for ten years. The cloud gaming licenses would be granted to the competition free of charge. This would ensure platform and service independence. A monopolization of the cloud gaming market would thus be averted for a decade.
With regard to the possible upgrading of the Xbox compared to the PlayStation, the EU also sees no threat of monopolization. It pointed out that there are currently four PlayStations for every Xbox. Should Microsoft decide to offer popular Activision games only for its Xbox in the future, there would therefore be no sudden monopolization to the disadvantage of Sony.
British regulator criticizes EU decision
The British regulator that rejected the takeover immediately criticized the EU’s decision. It went on record saying that the acquisition terms accepted by the EU would allow Microsoft to determine the cloud gaming market along with its competitive conditions.
Whether the takeover of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft will actually happen in the end remains uncertain despite the EU’s approval. In addition to the UK, the US regulatory authority would also have to approve the purchase. The latter has already expressed concerns, but has not yet made a decision. Microsoft and Activision Blizzard, meanwhile, seem determined to fight for the deal. They have announced that they will take legal action against the British decision.
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