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CMA Gives Preliminary Approval to Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard Acquisition

After months of being critical of Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard acquisition, UK Regulator the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has given preliminary approval to the almost $69 billion deal, according to a press release.

The regulator’s changed opinion on the deal comes after blocking the acquisition this past April and Microsoft winning a court case to purchase the Call of Duty publisher. Since then, Microsoft has reworked the deal with the CMA by transferring cloud rights of Activision Blizzard games to Ubisoft to help push approval to push the deal through in the UK region.

“The CMA provisionally concluded that the solutions we have offered to address its concerns about the impact of the acquisition on future competition in cloud game streaming are acceptable. This is a positive development and a welcome indicator that our hard work is bringing us closer to our goal,” Xbox Head Phil Spencer said in a memo to employees.

“Prior to making its final decision on whether to clear the transaction, the CMA is soliciting feedback from the industry and public. During this time, we will continue to work toward addressing any remaining concerns and earning approval to close.”

Microsoft isn’t at the finish line of this almost two-year-long acquisition marathon as CMA is opening up a consultation to gain third-party feedback on Microsoft’s proposed remedies, which is set to go until October 6th. The final decision of Microsoft’s second chance of getting the approval of its Activision Blizzard acquisition has a deadline of October 18th. This means that if approved, we have less than one month before this acquisition saga can finally come to a close.

This hasn’t been the first time Microsoft has been in the news as it dealt with a significant leak on the FTC website, which revealed its early plans for a refreshed Xbox Series X and haptic feedback controller set to release next year, plus a bevy of Bethesda game releases in the pipeline. While in Japan as a part of TGS 2023, Phil Spencer commented on the leak on Twitter.