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Microsoft adjusts Activision Blizzard deal to prevent EU probe

Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard is looking more certain as the EU paves the way for its potential approval of an adjusted deal.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

October 11, 2023

1 Min Read
Logos for Activision Blizzard and Xbox.

Microsoft has released a new version of its $69 billion deal to acquire Activision Blizzard. Per Bloomberg, the adjusted deal has been made to appease the European Commission (EU) and ensure the Xbox maker doesn't get investigated a second time. 

The original version of the deal was under heavy scrutiny from both the EU and Competition Market Authority. While the EU eventually approved that deal, the CMA continued to try and prevent Microsoft from gaining the Call of Duty publisher and made clear its displeasure at the EU's reversed stance.

Sources speaking to the outlet revealed Microsoft's concessions to placate the CMA don't need to be evaluated in Brussels as they did the first time. The developer was previously granted permission to address those concerns, after which the CMA granted provisional approval in late September.

Part of those changes included using Ubisoft as a proxy that will hold the cloud streaming rights to Activision Blizzard games. That deal is expected to last for 15 years, during which Ubisoft can "offer Activision's games both directly to consumers and to all cloud gaming service providers however it chooses," said the CMA at the time. 

Under this deal, Microsoft will also be required to "port Activision games to operating systems other than Windows and support game emulators when requested, addressing the other main shortcoming with the previous remedies package."

Having the EU's approval is a boon to Microsoft, which has been hoping to seal the deal on this acquisition by this Friday, October 13. In July, its merger deadline was extended to next Wednesday, October 18.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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