When Microsoft and Activision Blizzard agreed to push back the closing date of their proposed merger by several months, the effort was intended to handle a UK appeal of the deal's rejection. After submitting a revised deal, the UK regulators seem likely to approve Microsoft's Activision Blizzard acquisition.
The deal was originally said to close in july, but the two sides agreed to Extended by several months. The new date is currently October 18th and when they decided to submit additional documentation and a revised deal to the UK regulators, Microsoft affirmed that their belief was that the October date could close as expected. now that the UK seems ready to sign off on the deal, the last major hurdle is about to disappear.
The restructured deal was specifically intended to win over UK approval. Since the original deals rejection was made over the subject of cloud gaming, the revised deal brings in a third party, Ubisoft, who will get cloud streaming rights to Activision Blizzard's games, both current and everything that would be released over the next 15 years. This deal would exclude the European Economic Area, since the EU had already approved the merger. The newly revised proposal also makes Microsoft supply Activision Blizzard games to other operating systems than just Windows and could also open a door to supporting emulators.
The UK Competitions and Markets Authority issued a press release today titled: “New Microsoft/Activision deal addresses previous CMA concerns in cloud gaming”. The CMA even chided Microsoft a bit for not bringing this deal to them in the first place. “It would have been far better, though, if Microsoft had put forward this restructure during our original investigation. This case illustrates the costs, uncertainty and delay that parties can incur if a credible and effective remedy option exists but is not put on the table at the right time”.
The CMA will conduct a consultation on Microsoft’s proposals until October 6th. While, according to the statement, “The CMA is now consulting on the remedies before making a final decision.” it looks like the companies will be able to clear approval by the October 18th deadline.