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Despite opposition from the UK CMA, and the ongoing legal battle in the USA, the acquisition of Activision Blizzard takes a step forward as the European Commission has approved it now.

In a press release the EU Commission made it clear that initially, they did feel the deal could "harm competition" in the console and PC gaming space (including cloud gaming). However, after their "in-depth market investigation" they changed their mind and said Microsoft "would not be able to harm rival consoles and rival multi-game subscription services" but that Microsoft could still "harm competition in the distribution of games via cloud game streaming services and that its position in the market for PC operating systems would be strengthened".

So why are they approving it? Microsoft offered up these terms for cloud gaming for 10 years:

  • free license to consumers in the EEA that would allow them to stream, via any cloud game streaming services of their choice, all current and future Activision Blizzard PC and console games for which they have a license.
  • A corresponding free license to cloud game streaming service providers to allow EEA-based gamers to stream any Activision Blizzard's PC and console games.

Once those were set the EU decided the commitments "fully address the competition concerns identified by the Commission and represent a significant improvement for cloud game streaming compared to the current situation".

The UK CMA are standing firm though, releasing a statement on Twitter in a small thread. To save you clicking around their statement says:

The UK, US and European competition authorities are unanimous that this merger would harm competition in cloud gaming.

The CMA concluded that cloud gaming needs to continue as a free, competitive market to drive innovation and choice in this rapidly evolving sector.

Microsoft’s proposals, accepted by the European Commission today, would allow Microsoft to set the terms and conditions for this market for the next 10 years.

They would replace a free, open and competitive market with one subject to ongoing regulation of the games Microsoft sells, the platforms to which it sells them, and the conditions of sale.

This is one of the reasons the CMA’s independent panel group rejected Microsoft’s proposals and prevented this deal.

While we recognise and respect that the European Commission is entitled to take a different view, the CMA stands by its decision.

We're still multiple months away from seeing what happens overall though, since the US FTC case is still pending.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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Furyspark May 16
Quoting: dpanterAre we really this naive, us humans?

Yes. No two ways about it. Just yes.
massatt212 May 16
Quoting: stephenseiber420
Quoting: massatt212Why y'all don't have the same energy for Sony?
last i check sony doesnt control 95% of the pc gaming market... not to mention microsoft is 2 trillion dollar company and sony is at 120 billion... microsoft is trying to buy a company that is worth half their consule competitor... you can bet if they could buy nintendo or sony they would... but japan would block both mergers outright... and alot of people myself include are still ticked off about what microsoft did in the 90s that contributed to this directx centered gaming development... though im not a fan of mergers in general... espeically in the gaming space... loads of ip's die after mergers... to many people are on hopium that microsoft is gonna do something about the problems with activision management... no microsoft is just after more ip's for their cloud gaming services... their goal is to create a cloud gaming services monopoly cause thats the future they see... there is probably some kinda stupid loophole in the agreement so they dont have to wait 10 years...

But Activition wants to cash out before the value of there company becomes worthless, and the government want to stop them from selling to them.

Imagine having a fast food restaurant and can only sell to selected people to keep competition fair LOL.
TheRiddick May 16
Do people really love Activation and Blizzard that much?
Quoting: massatt212Imagine having a fast food restaurant and can only sell to selected people to keep competition fair LOL.
Oh my god! The horror! The horror!!! Won't somebody please think of the fast food restaurateurs?
Quoting: TheRiddickDo people really love Activation and Blizzard that much?
No, they just don't like monopolies, or even oligopolies. Which I'm morally certain you already knew before you asked.
Ten years, eh? Wow, that's such a long time, I can't even imagine anything happening that far in the future . . . Oh wait, no it isn't and yes I can. Microsoft has been maintaining a couple of monopolies for nigh on 30 years now already.
Chronarius May 16
That is great news! It will be fun migrating BattleNet Accounts to Microsoft Accounts! /sarcasm off

Bye Bye BattleNet!

Quoting: TheRiddickDo people really love Activation and Blizzard that much?

Well both had been great companies in the past.

Last edited by Chronarius on 16 May 2023 at 7:09 am UTC
RedWare64 May 16
Quoting: GroganI don't personally care about Blizzard, or Activision (both can take turns riding the bologna pony), it's Bethesda/Zenimax that I'm sore about. I loved their games, and they were adopting Vulkan.

Still this is awful that Microsoft is buying up all these publishers. Everything will be polluted with their middleware and horrid interfaces.
And considering Microsoft's track record, they are bad at taking advantage of their IPs and acquired studios. Halo 4 -> 5 -> Infinite was a decade long trainwreck; Gears is an afterthought; and the recent Redfall has been ridiculed for its bugs and horrid open-world/level design. Now, consumers are especially wary of Starfield because of how badly Redfall was received.

Sure, Microsoft had a few wins like Sea of Thieves and Forza Horizon, but the former launched barebones before it became good, and the latter has been marred with cheating and corrupt moderation.

It would be funny if our worries about the Activision/Blizzard acquisition were all for naught because Microsoft is too incompetent to figure out how to leverage the IP to their fullest.
Tchey May 16
Hahaha... haha... hahahaha... European Commission... Hahahaha... Money wins again. No surprise here.

I must say i don’t really care about all the big studios lives, however, i do care than more and more part of the world "stuff" are legally belonging to less and less people. Politics, press, media, book, roads, games, companies... and us... are in the hands of a few hypercorpo.
MS will gladly make these changes, but probably violate them before those 10 years are up. EU will fine MS, but as usual the fine(s) will be peanuts and MS will be happy to pay.
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