Microsoft Renews Acquisition Talks With Activision
Earlier today, Microsoft put forth a renewed proposal to acquire Activision Blizzard, which comes with a set of modifications.
This comes in the wake of the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) recognition that adjustments were necessary to ensure the protection of innovation and choices within the domain of cloud gaming. The original bid by the American company, made in January 2022, aimed at a $69 billion acquisition of Activision. However, subsequent challenges emerged as regulatory hurdles in the United States, Europe, and the United Kingdom came into play.
As a result, Microsoft and Activision collaboratively devised a revised agreement that has gained mutual acceptance. It’s anticipated that the CMA will deliver its decision, potentially by October 18. Brad Smith, Microsoft’s President, expressed hope that the assessment process could conclude even before the specified date.
In line with the latest arrangement, Microsoft will not attain cloud rights for ongoing Activision PC and console games. The same applies to upcoming games introduced by Activision over the next 15 years, as stipulated by the CMA. These rights will instead be transferred to Ubisoft Entertainment, a French game publisher.
This transfer is scheduled to take place before Microsoft completes the acquisition of Activision. Expanding on this aspect, Smith further explained that Ubisoft would compensate Microsoft for cloud streaming rights to Activision Blizzard’s games through a one-time payment and a market-based wholesale pricing mechanism.
This mechanism includes an option for pricing based on usage. Additionally, this arrangement will allow Ubisoft to extend Activision Blizzard’s games to cloud gaming services that operate on non-Windows operating systems.
Furthermore, Ubisoft will also integrate games from Activision Blizzard into its Ubisoft Plus Multi Access subscription. This subscription will be accessible across various platforms, including PC, Xbox, Amazon Luna, and PlayStation via Ubisoft Plus Classics.