Microsoft’s proposed $69 billion acquisition of gaming developer Activision Blizzard was approved by European Union regulators on Monday, subject to Microsoft’s suggested remedies.
The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, stated that Microsoft provided antitrust remedies in the new field of cloud gaming. These solutions focused on allowing customers to broadcast Activision games purchased on any cloud streaming platform.
After the transaction was blocked by the United Kingdom’s top competition body last month, Europe’s approval represents a big gain for Microsoft. Global regulators have been investigating whether Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision will hinder competition in the console and cloud gaming markets. Regulators questioned whether Microsoft would take Activision games and keep them solely on its own platforms.
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Earlier, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) had filed a legal case against Microsoft to try and block the company’s plan to buy Activision Blizzard for about $68.7 billion. On the other hand, Chile’s market regulatory institution, the Fiscalia Nacional Economica (FNE), published its approval of the contentious Microsoft acquisition of Activision Blizzard in December last year.
Activision is responsible for some of the world’s most popular console and PC games, including the Call of Duty franchise and World of Warcraft. The EU decision comes after the UK Competition and Markets Authority blocked the transaction earlier this month, citing fears that it would decrease competition in the embryonic cloud gaming market.
According to the CMA, Microsoft would benefit financially from making Activision’s important games, such as Call of Duty, exclusive to its own cloud gaming platforms. Nonetheless, the CMA stated that the acquisition would not reduce competition in the console market. Regulators and some of Microsoft’s competitors, including PlayStation gaming system maker Sony, have expressed resistance to the purchase.