Microsoft has completed its acquisition of Activision Blizzard, maker of “Call of Duty” and other popular video games. one of the largest technology stores of all times.
Earlier on Friday, British antitrust officials approved the planned acquisition, clearing the final regulatory hurdle to closing the deal.
Competition and Markets Authority he said the merger was approved after the companies agreed to give up certain cloud gaming rights. The concession is a “game changer” that will enable “competitive prices and better services,” the CMA said in a statement.
The CMA was the only regulator in the world standing in the way of the landmark acquisition, which was valued at $69 billion when it was first announced.
British regulator he was concerned about competition in the cloud gaming market, saying that Microsoft might seek to make Activision games exclusive to its own platforms and then raise the cost of user subscriptions, leaving players with less choice.
In August, Microsoft and Activision addressed these concerns revision agreement.
They proposed a restructured merger that would see Activision’s cloud streaming rights outside the European Union and three other European countries sold to rival Ubisoft Entertainment.
That reassured the CMA, which signaled last month that it was most likely to approve the reworked takeover.
“The new deal will prevent Microsoft from blocking competition in cloud gaming,” the agency said Friday.
“It will also help ensure that cloud game providers can use non-Windows operating systems for Activision content, reducing costs and increasing efficiency.”
Activision Blizzard is one of the world’s largest video game developers. Besides “Call of Duty”, it also produces “World of Warcraft” and “Overwatch”.
Microsoft, which sells the Xbox gaming console, offers a popular video game subscription service called Xbox Game Pass, as well as a cloud video game streaming service.
The acquisition is expected to help Microsoft strengthen its position in the gaming industry and better compete with market leaders Tencent and Sony.
IN declaration on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, Microsoft president Brad Smith said: “We are grateful for the CMA’s thorough review and decision.”
— Olesya Dmitracova contributed to this article.