DIPLOMATIC ECONOMY

EC Clears Microsoft Acquisition Of Activision Blizzard

EC Vice-President
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By Mike Robuck

Microsoft cleared a hurdle in a proposed US$68.7 billion acquisition to buy Activision Blizzard after the European Commission (EC) granted its approval barely three weeks after UK authorities moved to block the deal.

The EC ruled the acquisition will not harm competition in the gaming sector after Microsoft agreed to offer Activision Blizzard games including Call of Duty on Sony PlayStation consoles.

EC EVP in charge of competition policy, Margrethe Vestager stated 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”.

Microsoft president and vice chair Brad Smith tweeted its licensing policy will “apply globally”, enabling consumers to play games “on any device they choose”.

The UK Competition and Markets Authority last month rejected the deal, ruling remedies proposed by Microsoft were not enough to offset its concerns over consumer choice.

Bloomberg reported Vestager stated the EC and CMA had taken different views on the speed of development in cloud gaming.

CMA chief Sarah Cardell told the news site it stands by its decision.

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