Britain said no, the EU said yes: The European Commission has he Acquisition of Activision-Blizzard by Microsoft agreed. But you can’t breathe a sigh of relief with US companies.
The European Commission took a long time to make the decision, but finally approved the nearly $70 billion deal. However, the approval is subject to conditions that Microsoft must absolutely comply with. In focus? Once again the entire cloud gaming space.
Microsoft may take over Activision-Blizzard
Similar to the British authority CMA, the European Commission has carefully examined the deal and its potential effects, and interviewed numerous experts. In the end, one comes to the conclusion that there would be no incentive for Microsoft not to publish Activision games on the PlayStation in the future. Even if this were to happen, “it would not significantly affect competition in the console market.”
Sony, according to the verdict, could ward off any “attempt to weaken its own competitive position” due to its size and market position. In addition, it states that without the acquisition, Activision would not offer its own games in a games subscription service, which is why the situation for third-party providers of such subscription services would not change.
It looks completely different with Thema Cloud-Gaming from: Microsoft could further strengthen its own market position here if it were to offer the big Activision brands exclusively. However, the Xbox manufacturer assured the commission that current and future Activision Blizzard games will be licensed to all interested cloud gaming providers. “These commitments fully address the competition concerns identified by the Commission and represent a significant improvement for cloud streaming of games over the current situation.”
A decision in the USA is still pending
Even though the EU has now approved the deal, the takeover of Activision-Blizzard is far from dry. On the one hand, the decision is still pending in the USA, where the Federal Trade Commission, or FTC for short, is filing a lawsuit against the deal.
Beyond that the CMA in Great Britain continues to deny the takeover, which could still burst the deal as a whole. However, shortly after the CMA’s decision, Microsoft announced an appeal that will soon have to be heard before the Competition Appeal Tribunal. This could take several more months.