Microsoft has reached a new agreement to acquire the Call of Duty giant.

by Francis Ogoti
3 minutes read

Microsoft has submitted a new bid to acquire Activision Blizzard after the UK competition watchdog rejected its previous $69 billion (£59 billion) purchase.

On Tuesday, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) stated that Microsoft’s initial bid for Call of Duty producer had been rejected.

It will now analyze the new agreement but has stated that “this is not a green light.”

Microsoft will not purchase the rights to Activision’s existing or new cloud-based games under the revised deal.

The 15-year pledge will not include Activision’s PC and console games in the European Economic Area.

Similar to a streaming service like Netflix, games saved in the cloud allow gamers to purchase material whenever they want.

Microsoft’s acquisition of Call of Duty creator last year was expected to be the largest in gaming industry history.

However, it has divided regulators around the world, with some fearing it will be anti-competitive.

Despite been rebuffed by the courts multiple times, the US Federal Trade Commission continues to try to prohibit the deal in America.

Meanwhile, the European Union and China have stated that the alliance can proceed.

However, the United Kingdom revealed steps to oppose the agreement in April, claiming that it would hinder innovation and choice for players in the rapidly rising cloud gaming industry.

Activision was outraged, and Microsoft’s UK president Brad Smith claimed the move was “bad for Britain” and marked the company’s “darkest day” in the country’s four decades of operation.

Because of the UK’s decision, the multibillion-dollar transaction cannot be implemented globally.

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Instead of managing all of Activision’s games, including Candy Crush, Microsoft announced that the material would be sold to rival video game publisher Ubisoft.

Ubisoft will subsequently be able to distribute Activision’s content “to all cloud gaming service providers, including Microsoft itself.”

Microsoft manufactures the Xbox gaming system and wishes to acquire Activision in order to expand its Game Pass streaming service. This enables gamers to download material to their consoles and smartphones.

Rivals such as Sony have also opposed to the agreement, fearing that Microsoft may prevent key games from being made available to its own PlayStation business.

Modern Warfare 2, the latest installment in the Call of Duty franchise, generated $1 billion in its first weekend, with PlayStation accounting for more than half of all sales in the UK.

The CMA’s chief executive, Sarah Cardell, stated that Microsoft’s revised and restructured offer was “substantially different from what was previously put on the table.

She stated that the CMA would now investigate the offer.

“We will carefully and objectively assess the details of the restructured deal, as well as its impact on competition, including in light of third-party comments,” she said.

“Our goal has not changed – any future decision on this new deal will ensure that the growing cloud gaming market continues to benefit from open and effective competition driving innovation and choice.”

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