Microsoft announced that it has cleared the last blocker from UK regulators related to its acquisition of software company Activision Blizzard and the deal is now finalized.
The deal was first announced in January 2022 with Microsoft offering nearly $69 billion for the company, making it the largest gaming deal in history.
The announcement immediately raised anti-trust red flags with regulators in the US, the UK, and Europe.
Those problems had been mostly resolved except for the issues brought up by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) which threatened to sink the entire deal.
A US judge rejected a delay for the deal in July, saying the merger could proceed, but the FTC said it might appeal this ruling even after the deal closes.
In the UK, the CMA seemed particularly concerned with the cloud gaming platform that Microsoft would create with the merger which could be used to remove access to Activision Blizzard’s suite of games from other game platforms like the PS5.
Microsoft countered with some concessions which the CMA rejected, keeping things in limbo.
Finally, in August, Microsoft agreed to sell off Activision Blizzard’s game streaming platform rights for several European countries including the UK to Ubisoft, allowing Ubisoft to stream Activision Blizzard games for 15 years.
Even after this, the CMA was still slow on the approval.
Recently, however, it appears something has changed and CMA approved the deal, leading the way to its finalization.
The deal means that Microsoft now owns one of the largest gaming companies whose games include everything from Call of Duty to World of Warcraft to Candy Crush.