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EU approves Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard

Microsoft hasn't gotten approval in other regions.

Microsoft’s $69 billion [AUD$102 billion] acquisition of video game company Activision Blizzard, publishers of Call of Duty, has been approved by the European Commission after an in-depth investigation.

Regulators found that Microsoft would not harm rival consoles or multi-game subscription services, but the acquisition could harm competition among game-streaming services and their position in the operating system market would be strengthened.

The approval is conditional upon Microsoft’s compliance with licensing commitments they offered for a 10-year duration.

These commitments mean consumers in the European Economic Area (EEA) can stream all current and future Activision Blizzard games via any service of their choice as long as they have a license.

To do this a free license will be provided to cloud game streaming service providers.

Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said that their decision is a step towards protecting competition and innovation by bringing Activision’s games to more consumers through cloud streaming.

“The commitments offered by Microsoft will enable for the first time the streaming of such games in any cloud game streaming services, enhancing competition and opportunities for growth,” she said.

Microsoft still faces challenges in other regions such as the US and the UK. According to the ABC, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said they’re still “engaging with overseas regulators” as a part of their review.

Photo: Microsoft by Mike Mozart available HERE and used under a Creative Commons licence. The photo has not been modified.

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