Microsoft submits new Activision Blizzard takeover deal to British regulator after initial block

Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard has hit regulatory roadblocks, prompting the tech giant to submit a new deal that includes significant concessions. The original deal, valued at $69 billion, was first proposed in January 2022, but it faced challenges from regulators in the U.S., Europe, and the U.K.

The U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) confirmed the rejection of the original deal, but Microsoft and Activision have agreed on a new restructured agreement. The CMA will now investigate this new agreement, with a decision deadline set for October 18. However, Microsoft’s President Brad Smith expressed optimism that the review could be completed before this deadline.

As part of the new deal, Microsoft will not acquire cloud rights for existing Activision PC and console games, nor for new games released by Activision over the next 15 years. Instead, these cloud rights will be divested to the French game publisher Ubisoft Entertainment prior to Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision.

This regulatory development led to a positive market response for Ubisoft, as its shares saw an increase of over 4% in early European trade.

Microsoft’s revised approach demonstrates its commitment to addressing regulatory concerns and finding solutions that allow the acquisition to proceed while mitigating potential antitrust issues related to cloud gaming and competition in the gaming industry.