The restructured acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft “opens the door” to the deal being approved, according to Britain’s antitrust regulator on Friday.
In early 2022, Microsoft announced the largest gaming purchase in history, but the $69 billion acquisition was stopped in April by Britain’s competition regulator, who was concerned that the U.S. computing giant would gain too much control of the burgeoning cloud gaming business.
In August the “Call of Duty” maker agreed to sell its streaming rights to Ubisoft Entertainment.
The Ubisoft divestment “substantially addresses previous concerns,” the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said in a statement.
“While the CMA has identified limited residual concerns with the new deal, Microsoft has put forward remedies which the CMA has provisionally concluded should address these issues,” the regulator said.
Microsoft said it was “encouraged by this positive development in the CMA’s review process”.
“We presented solutions that we believe fully address the CMA’s remaining concerns related to cloud game streaming, and we will continue to work toward earning approval to close prior to the October 18 deadline,” Microsoft vice chair and president Brad Smith said.
The CMA said there were “residual concerns” that certain provisions in the Ubisoft deal could be circumvented, terminated or not enforced.
Microsoft has offered remedies to ensure that the terms of the sale are enforceable by the regulator.
The CMA is now consulting on the remedies before making a final decision.