Activision Blizzard’s Xbox deal has been approved by the European Commission – IGN

Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard has been approved by the European Commission. Approval brings Microsoft’s landmark deal one step closer to completion.

The European Commission announced on its website that it had approved the proposed acquisition under the EU Integration Regulation.

The European Commission reached similar conclusions to the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) – that the deal would not hurt the console market but could hurt cloud gaming – but was satisfied with Microsoft’s proposed solutions to these concerns.

Optimizing the cloud gaming market.

Microsoft’s solutions seemed so effective to the European Commission that it now expects the deal to bring a “significant improvement” to the cloud gaming market, a stark difference to the conclusion of the financial market authority that made it block the deal last month.

Obligations [offered by Microsoft] It fully addresses the competition concerns identified by the Commission and represents a significant improvement for cloud gaming compared to the current situation,” the European Commission’s statement read.

“The Commitments fully address the competition concerns identified by the Commission and represent a significant improvement for cloud gaming.”

In response to its concerns that the deal in progress would monopolize the sector, Microsoft offered a 10-year licensing commitment to consumers in the European Economic Area (EEA). This commitment ensures that Activision Blizzard games are not locked onto Game Pass Ultimate or the Xbox Cloud gaming platform.

Instead, any cloud steam service will be allowed a free license to provide Activision Blizzard games to EEA users on their platform. In addition, EEA consumers will be given permission to stream all current and future Activision Blizzard games that they license to on any cloud gaming service of their choice.

Familiar fears.

These final terms were drawn up after an in-depth market investigation by the European Commission, which concluded that “Microsoft will not be able to harm competing consoles and competing multi-game subscription services” but that the deal could hurt competition in the cloud game streaming services sector.

The commission said it believes there is no incentive for Microsoft to refuse to distribute Activision Blizzard games to Sony because it is the leading distributor of console games worldwide.

The European Commission went so far as to say that if Microsoft made the likes of Call of Duty exclusive to Xbox, Sony would still be able to handle it. “Even if Microsoft decided to withdraw Activision games from PlayStation, it would not significantly harm competition in the console market,” the European Commission said.

“Even if Microsoft decided to pull Activision games from PlayStation, it wouldn’t significantly hurt competition in the console market.”

However, its reasoning is purely European-focused, for example, Call of Duty is less popular in the European Economic Area than in other regions of the world.

As for cloud gaming, “the panel found that the popularity of Activision games could boost [cloud game streaming] growth. Alternatively, if Microsoft made Activision’s games exclusive to its own cloud game streaming service, Game Pass Ultimate, and withheld them from competing cloud game streaming providers, it would reduce competition in game distribution via cloud game streaming. “

Hear Microsoft’s message.

The aforementioned Microsoft solutions to these problems seem to have been heard (and believed) loud and clear by the European Commission. “It will enable millions of EEA consumers to stream Activision games using any cloud gaming services operating in the EEA, provided they are purchased from an online store or included in an active multi-game subscription in the EEA,” the company said.

In addition, the availability of popular Activision games for streaming across all cloud game streaming services will boost the development of this dynamic technology in the EEA. Ultimately, the commitments will unlock significant benefits for competition and consumers, by bringing Activision games to new platforms, including gamers. The smallest size in the EU and more devices than before.”

“They will enable millions of EEA consumers to stream Activision games using any cloud gaming services.”

This reflects a message Microsoft has been getting around for a long time: it wants to make gaming more accessible and bring it to as many gamers as possible. Microsoft President Brad Smith later reiterated these two points tweet.

“The European Commission required Microsoft to automatically license popular Activision Blizzard games to competing cloud gaming services,” he said. “This will be implemented globally and will enable millions of consumers around the world to play these games on any device of their choice.

More work to be done.

The European Commission’s decision to approve Xbox’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard is a definite step forward for Microsoft, but, on top of the CMA’s decision to block the deal, there are still many hurdles for the company to overcome.

Microsoft is appealing the CMA’s decision, though that in and of itself is an incredible undertaking that, if anything, would take months to overcome. The CMA has won 67% of merger appeals, and even if Microsoft gets the UK Competition Court of Appeal on its side, it will still have many steps to do before making another decision.

It will also be examined by the US Federal Trade Commission, which filed a lawsuit to block the acquisition in December 2022, with a hearing set for August 2 of this year.

Ryan Dinsdale is a freelance journalist for IGN and UK news editor. He’ll be talking about The Witcher all day.

#Activision #Blizzards #Xbox #deal #approved #European #Commission #IGN

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top