Microsoft Bends on Streaming Rights to Lift UK Block on Activision Deal

Summary

In a strategic move, Microsoft has offered significant concessions to UK regulatory authorities. The tech giant aims to remove the final roadblock in its monumental acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

The Concession

Microsoft’s latest proposal focuses on streaming rights. The company has pledged to automatically license Activision games to cloud gaming platforms. This is a significant step back from their initial stance. The move aims to appease UK regulators who had previously blocked the merger.

Regulatory Hurdles

The UK watchdog had delayed its final order to block the deal. This pause allowed the regulatory body to consider an EU decision. The EU had accepted Microsoft’s pledge concerning Activision games and cloud gaming platforms. Now, the ball is in the UK’s court.

Industry Reactions

Activision CEO Bobby Kotick stated that “nothing substantially changes” by selling off the streaming rights. The industry is keenly watching how this concession impacts the final decision.

Implications

If approved, the merger would be one of the largest in tech history. Microsoft’s concession could set a precedent for future tech mergers facing regulatory scrutiny. It also highlights the growing importance of cloud gaming in the industry’s future.

Conclusion

Microsoft’s willingness to give ground on streaming rights is a calculated risk. It’s a bid to expedite the acquisition process and remove the UK’s regulatory obstacle. Whether this move will be enough to sway UK authorities remains to be seen.

For more updates on this developing story, stay tuned