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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Microsoft and Activision deal includes selling streaming rights

In a bid to gain approval from the UK’s anti-trust regulator for its $69 billion sale to Microsoft, Activision Blizzard, the creator of “Call of Duty,” will transfer its streaming rights to Ubisoft Entertainment.

In early 2022, Microsoft had announced the largest gaming deal in history, but Britain’s competition regulator blocked the acquisition due to concerns over Microsoft’s dominance in the emerging cloud gaming market.

After extended negotiations, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) confirmed its initial decision to reject the deal, prompting Microsoft to present new terms.

Under the revised agreement, Microsoft will not be allowed to exclusively release Activision games on its Xbox Cloud Gaming service or dictate licensing terms for rival services.

Instead, Ubisoft, a French gaming competitor, will gain the cloud streaming rights for Activision’s existing and upcoming PC and console games for the next 15 years, excluding Europe where the original deal was accepted.

Industry experts believe this shift increases the likelihood of the deal’s approval. Microsoft’s new proposal will be reviewed by the CMA by October 18, and the regulator will assess the revised deal for its impact on competition.

The agreement signifies a major concession by Microsoft and reflects the CMA’s rigorous approach to tech deals post-Brexit.

Despite the US Federal Trade Commission opposing the deal, the European Union approved it based on Microsoft’s commitments to license Activision’s games to other platforms.

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