One of the largest IT deals in history has been closed with Microsoft’s successful $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Regulators in the US, the UK, and other nations gave their approval to the deal.
The planned acquisition was given the green light earlier on Friday by UK antitrust officials, clearing the last legal barrier to the transaction’s completion.
“Today, we officially welcome Activision Blizzard and their teams to Xbox. They are the publishers of some of the most played and most beloved franchises in gaming history across console, PC and mobile. From Pitfall to Call of Duty, World of Warcraft to Overwatch, Candy Crush Saga to Farm Heroes Super Saga, their studios have pushed the boundaries of gaming for players around the world.” said Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming.
Taking over the development studios for popular games like Call of Duty, Diablo, and Overwatch will help Microsoft’s Xbox gaming console, which currently trails Nintendo and PlayStation in sales.
Microsoft is now the third-largest gaming company in the world by revenue, behind Tencent in China and Sony in Japan, following its $69 billion acquisition of Santa Monica, California-based Activision Blizzard.
“As promised, we will also continue to make more games available in more places – and that begins now by enabling cloud streaming providers and players to stream Activision Blizzard games in the European Economic Area, a commitment made to the European Commission. Today we start the work to bring beloved Activision, Blizzard, and King franchises to Game Pass and other platforms. We’ll share more about when you can expect to play in the coming months,” Spencer said.
Microsoft’s president Brad Smith criticized the CMA’s decision, saying it was “bad for Britain” and went against “the ambitions of the UK to become an attractive country to build technology businesses” after the competition agency vetoed the acquisition earlier this year.
The Assassin’s Creed developer Ubisoft purchased Activision’s cloud streaming rights, and according to Ms. Cardell of the CMA, “we’ve ensured Microsoft can’t have a stranglehold over this important and rapidly developing market.”
The UK regulator expressed concern about the level of competition in the market for cloud gaming, stating that Microsoft could attempt to make Activision’s games exclusive to its own platforms, raise the cost of user subscriptions, and reduce the number of gaming options available. will continue.
Some analysts have expressed concern that the acquisition could lead to higher prices for gamers and less competition in the video game industry. However, Microsoft has said that it is committed to keeping Activision Blizzard’s games affordable and accessible to all gamers.
A court request by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to halt the transaction so that an internal judge could review it was denied. The FTC hasn’t given up; last month, it filed notice of its intention to resume that trial and appealed the ruling.