Microsoft to sell Activision/Blizzard cloud streaming rights to Ubisoft for approval with UK’s CMA
The unexpected turn of events in Microsoft’s pursuit of Activision raises eyebrows and highlights the need for careful negotiation. Following the United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) decision to block the $69 billion acquisition, Microsoft is taking steps to revise the deal and address regulatory concerns.
Under the revised arrangement, Microsoft plans to sell the rights to stream both current and upcoming Activision PC and console games to French game maker Ubisoft. This move aims to address concerns about potential dominance in the cloud gaming market and promote fair competition. By relinquishing exclusive cloud gaming rights for Activision Blizzard titles, Microsoft ensures a more balanced playing field.
Ubisoft will now be responsible for determining how the games are made available on various cloud gaming services, including non-Windows operating systems. To compensate Microsoft for this transfer of rights, Ubisoft will make a one-time payment and follow a market-based wholesale pricing mechanism.
While progress has been made toward a resolution, it’s important to note that the October 18 deadline does not guarantee approval. The CMA remains committed to evaluating the restructured deal, considering its implications for competition and consumer benefit. The regulator aims to preserve a competitive cloud gaming market that fosters innovation and choice.
It’s important to highlight that these developments primarily affect the UK market. Microsoft’s compliance with European Commission commitments and existing contractual obligations remains intact. As the gaming and cloud industries continue to evolve, Microsoft’s cautious approach to this acquisition showcases its commitment to exploring new possibilities while adhering to regulatory requirements.