The last significant barrier to the proposed $69 billion acquisition of gaming company Activision Blizzard by Microsoft was removed on Friday when the country’s top antitrust authority granted the deal the go-ahead.
The deal for Microsoft to purchase Activision, but without cloud gaming rights, was approved, according to the Competition and Markets Authority.
The new agreement, according to the regulator, “will prevent Microsoft from locking up competition in cloud gaming as this sector takes off, maintaining competitive prices and services for UK cloud gaming clients.”
The CMA was the final regulator preventing the transaction. Microsoft should be able to complete the deal at this point.
The CMA, the takeover’s strongest opponent, has made a significant U-turn with this decision. Earlier this year, the CMA effectively banned the merger because of fear that it would limit competition in the emerging cloud gaming business.
In January 2022, Microsoft originally put forth an acquisition bid for Activision; however, the company has since run into legal issues in the U.S., Europe, and the U.K.
The CMA stated in July that a restructured acquisition from Microsoft would be something it would explore. A number of concessions from Microsoft focused on giving French game maker Ubisoft Entertainment the Activision titles’ cloud rights.