activision blizzard merger eu commission

EU Commission votes in favor of Microsoft/Activision merger

Another ally in Microsoft’s ongoing pledge drive

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The European Commission has finally returned its verdict and voted in favor of the proposed purchase of Activision Blizzard by publisher Microsoft. The EU Commission has been debating the near $69 billion merger for months, but has ultimately decided not to stand in Microsoft’s way.

The EU Commission’s report notes that it does not consider the proposed purchase will damage the market for any particular publisher or platform, and while the commission did suggest that problems might arise regarding cloud gaming, or any potential PC operating systems that are not Microsoft’s own Windows, Microsoft offered concessions that would allow all European Economic Area (EEA) customers a 10-year license to play “all current and future Activision Blizzard PC and console games” via the cloud service of their choice.

“These licenses will ensure that gamers that have purchased one or more Activision games on a PC or console store, or that have subscribed to a multi-game subscription service that includes Activision games, have the right to stream those games with any cloud game streaming service of their choice and play them on any device using any operating system,” said the Commission in its report.

Microsoft chairman Brad Smith took to Twitter to further discuss the concessions that have led to the EU Commission ultimately voting in favor of the merger.

“The European Commission has required Microsoft to license popular Activision Blizzard games automatically to competing cloud gaming services. This will apply globally and will empower millions of consumers worldwide to play these games on any device they choose,” wrote Smith.

These same concerns are the same ones that saw the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) vote to block the acquisition back in April, despite Microsoft’s objections. The publisher is expected to appeal the decision this summer. The UK is one of the few territories to vote No on the purchase, with Japan, Brazil, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, and now Europe all seemingly on board. Of course, Microsoft still has to face the lawsuit from the FTC on its home soil, which will most definitely be its biggest hurdle to surmount before the sale can complete. The suit is scheduled to take place this August.


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Author
Chris Moyse
Senior Editor - Chris has been playing video games since the 1980s and writing about them since the 1880s. Graduated from Galaxy High with honors. Twitter: @ChrisxMoyse