The EU has conditionally approved Microsoft’s buyout of Activision-Blizzard


Today’s Microsoft Activision-Blizzard buyout news won’t come as a surprise to anyone who read the leaks last week, but yes, EU regulators have officially approved the merger.

“The approval is conditional on full compliance with the commitments offered by Microsoft,” the regulatory body says in its announcement this morning. “The commitments fully address the competition concerns identified by the Commission and represent a significant improvement for cloud gaming as compared to the current situation.” The commission determined that Microsoft has “strong incentives” to deliver its games on PlayStation and that even if it ignored those incentives it “would not significantly harm competition in the consoles market.

To mollify its remaining concerns, the commission will require Microsoft to license its top games to the big cloud gaming services.

The decision leaves US and UK regulators as the last core holdouts to the approval of the merger, was was initially planned to complete this summer; China, South Korea, New Zealand, and Australia have not yet weighed in. And it doesn’t sound as if the UK is budging on the news.

“The UK, US and European competition authorities are unanimous that this merger would harm competition in cloud gaming. The CMA concluded that cloud gaming needs to continue as a free, competitive market to drive innovation and choice in this rapidly evolving sector. Microsoft’s proposals, accepted by the European Commission today, would allow Microsoft to set the terms and conditions for this market for the next 10 years. […] While we recognise and respect that the European Commission is entitled to take a different view, the CMA stands by its decision.”

Source: European Commission via The Verge. Cheers, Roger.
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