UK Regulator to Approve Microsoft’s $68.7 Billion Acquisition

Microsoft's $68.7 Billion Acquisition

Microsoft has proposed to acquire Activision Blizzard, a video game company, for $68.7 billion. The deal is the largest in the history of the gaming industry. The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is expected to approve the deal on Wednesday, April 26th.

The CMA is a government agency responsible for investigating mergers and acquisitions to ensure they do not harm competition.

The CMA was a vocal critic of the deal, expressing competition concerns as early as September 2022. Afterward, they will launch a deeper probe. However, the CMA dropped its concerns about the console market last month. They admitted that removing Call of Duty from PlayStation platforms would heavily damage Microsoft.

Microsoft’s Advances in Cloud Gaming

Concerns regarding the cloud market still lingered. Microsoft has secured four 10-year deals to bring all its games to cloud gaming services, including those of Activision Blizzard – if the deal is approved.

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This has boosted Microsoft’s chances of getting the deal approved. A recent report in The Financial Times suggests that the CMA will support the acquisition.

The European Union is also expected to share its ruling soon, but previous rumors have suggested that they would approve the deal.

FTC Remains the Last Hurdle for Microsoft

Once the UK and European Union approve the deal, the only remaining obstacle would be the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the United States. They sued to block the deal in December. An evidentiary hearing is expected in August.

The FTC may reconsider going through a full-on court battle where they might lose in the face of approvals from every other country. It is important to note that Japan, South Africa, Chile, Brazil, Serbia, and Saudi Arabia have already approved the deal.

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