Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard will not harm the competition according to the EU commission, which officially approved the deal today.
Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard has been officially approved by the European Union Commission. The EU regulator shared their final report today, in which they were clear that the acquisition will not harm the competition in the console market.
"The Commission's in-depth market investigation indicated that Microsoft would not be able to harm rival consoles and rival multi-game subscription services," it's stated in the report.
The commission did have some concerns over the cloud gaming but Microsoft agreed to certain remedies like the licencing commitments with a 10-year duration. This basically means that Microsoft must provide a free licence to cloud gaming providers in the EU, allowing their users to stream Activision Blizzard's PC and console games.
The EU regulator stated that there are four PlayStation consoles for every Xbox , so even if Microsoft decided to withdraw Call of Duty from PlayStation, that would not significantly harm the competition in the consoles market.
"Microsoft would have strong incentives to continue distributing Activision's games via a device as popular as Sony's PlayStation. Even if Microsoft did decide to withdraw Activision's games from the PlayStation, this would not significantly harm competition in the consoles market," the commission wrote in the report.
So, what's next for this deal? Well, given that this is another major win for Microsoft and Activision Blizzard, it now seems highly likely that both companies will fight until the end for approval. You may recall that the UK regulator blocked the deal, which was a huge blow but the latest approval from the EU certainly gives Microsoft hope that they could still turn this around in their favour.
Microsoft are now in the process of appealing the decision in the UK as we also wait for other regulators to release their final reports. Of course, every new approval will only breathe new life into the deal, which looked dead just weeks ago.
You can read the EU's final report here.
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