- Microsoft receives EU approval for its $69 billion acquisition of Activision, after being blocked in the UK.
- The approval is attributed to Microsoft’s offer of free 10-year licensing deals to gamers and cloud streaming competitors.
- The European Commission considers the licensing deals practical and effective, improving conditions for cloud game streaming and promoting competition.
Microsoft has successfully obtained approval from the European Union (EU) for its acquisition of Activision, valued at $69 billion.
The EU’s decision comes after the takeover was blocked in the UK, but Microsoft’s commitment to offering free 10-year licensing deals to gamers and cloud streaming competitors addressed the concerns of EU regulators.
This move by Microsoft has been deemed pro-competitive and is expected to significantly enhance the landscape of cloud game streaming. The European Commission’s decision aligns with an earlier Reuters report from March.
The European Commission, the antitrust authority of the EU, announced on Monday its approval of Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision, marking the largest-ever deal in the gaming industry. Microsoft’s licensing agreements played a crucial role in addressing regulatory concerns.
Margrethe Vestager, the European Union antitrust chief, expressed her support for the deal during a press conference, highlighting the practicality and effectiveness of the licensing agreements. She emphasized that these agreements substantially improve the conditions for cloud game streaming, making them pro-competitive.
“The commitments offered by Microsoft will enable for the first time the streaming of such games in any cloud game streaming services, enhancing competition and opportunities for growth,” EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said in a statement on Monday.
Microsoft’s offer of free 10-year licensing deals to European consumers and cloud game streaming services for Activision’s PC and console games was pivotal in securing the EU’s approval.
By providing access to Activision’s vast library of games through cloud streaming services, Microsoft aims to revolutionize the gaming landscape, allowing gamers to enjoy their favorite titles across various platforms. According to Microsoft, The 10-year licensing deals offer stability and long-term benefits for both gamers and cloud streaming providers, encouraging innovation and competition.
Microsoft’s interest in acquiring Activision is plausible given Activision’s renowned franchises and game titles, such as Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Candy Crush. Acquiring Activision would bolster Microsoft’s position in the gaming industry and further strengthen its Xbox platform and gaming services.
It’s worth mentioning that regulatory approval processes for major acquisitions can vary by jurisdiction, and different antitrust authorities may have differing opinions and requirements. This could explain the contrasting decisions between the US and UK’s veto and the EU’s approval in this hypothetical scenario.