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Microsoft President Changed Tone Towards UK CMA's Block on Blizzard Buyout: "Tough and Fair"

By Xueyang
Jan. 3, 2024 updated 03:38

Microsoft Completes Activision Blizzard Purchase After UK Regulatory HurdlesMicrosoft Completes Activision Blizzard Purchase After UK Regulatory Hurdles

Microsoft President Brad Smith recently acknowledged the UK Competition and Markets Authority's (CMA) firm yet fair stance on the company's acquisition of Activision Blizzard. In a conversation with BBC's Today Program, Smith admitted that the CMA's initial resistance to the deal, which was initially seen as a setback, ultimately led to a more balanced outcome.

Last year, the CMA had blocked Microsoft's proposed purchase of Activision Blizzard, citing concerns over the impact on the cloud gaming sector. Smith initially criticized the decision, declaring it a "dark day" for Microsoft's operations in the UK. However, in a notable shift, he recently praised the CMA for creating a "pragmatic path forward" that aligns with innovation and investment, benefiting all parties involved.

In response to the CMA's concerns, Microsoft revised its proposal, offering to sell streaming rights for all future Activision Blizzard games to Ubisoft for the next 15 years. This move satisfied the CMA, leading to a provisional approval in September, followed by formal approval in October.

The successful acquisition, valued at 68.7 billion USD, significantly enhances Microsoft's portfolio with major titles like Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Overwatch, alongside Activision Blizzard's mobile division King, famous for Candy Crush Saga. This acquisition marks a significant milestone for Microsoft, emphasizing its commitment to expanding its presence in the gaming industry.

Source: Eurogamer