Concessions made by Microsoft in an attempt to get the UK’s competition authority to approve its buy of gaming company Activision largely addressed concerns which led to the deal being blocked in its original form, the regulator revealed.
In a statement The UK Competition and Markets Authority said although it still had some limited worries, the restructured deal – including an agreement to sell cloud gaming rights to Ubisoft – had substantially addressed problems raised originally.
The regulator added the move “opens the door to the deal being cleared,” with suggested remedies to its remaining issues put forward by Microsoft now the subject of a consultation.
Its outstanding stumbling block surrounds the sale of streaming rights to Ubisoft, with worries the deal could be “circumvented, terminated, or not enforced”, though Microsoft has offered a facility to ensure it was enforceable by the CMA.
The CMA has “provisionally concluded” this addresses the issue.
Its update could be the beginning of the end of a lengthy battle between the two in relation to the deal, which was cleared by the European Commission in May after the tech giant agreed concessions to that authority.
After the CMA blocked the big money acquisition the first time around, Microsoft submitted a revised deal including the sale of cloud gaming rights to Ubisoft in August prompting a fresh review from the CMA.
In a social media post following the CMA’s announcement, Microsoft vice chair and president Brad Smith said: “We are encouraged by this positive development in the CMA’s review process. We presented solutions that we believe fully address the CMA’s remaining concerns related to cloud game streaming, and we will continue to work toward earning approval.”