Despite a green lght, Microsoft still faces an uncertain future as it awaits approval from the European Commission for its proposed acquisition of gaming giant Activision Blizzard.
The outcome of this historic takeover remains unresolved, as decisions from authorities in the United States and the United Kingdom are still pending. If given the green light, this acquisition would become the largest in gaming history.
In order to obtain the European Commission's approval, Microsoft had to make specific commitments due to potential competitive concerns in the cloud gaming space following the acquisition. Brussels has granted its approval after Microsoft promised to ensure the availability of Activision Blizzard games, such as Call of Duty and World of Warcraft, on competing platforms, effectively addressing the objections raised by the European Commission.
Microsoft, a global tech leader and one of the top three gaming computer manufacturers, has allocated an astounding $69 billion (€63.5 billion) for the acquisition of the game developer. While Brussels has given its consent, the future of the takeover remains uncertain. The UK regulator, the CMA, denied the Microsoft-Activision deal in late April, expressing concerns that Microsoft could gain an undue advantage in the online gaming market. Microsoft has appealed the decision, but the takeover's fate now relies on the appeal process's outcome. If the appeal is dismissed, the acquisition cannot proceed. Microsoft is required to secure approval from regulators in all countries where it operates.
It is important to note that the US regulator, the FTC, has also expressed concerns. In February, the agency launched an investigation into the merger of Activision Blizzard's gaming portfolio and Microsoft's Xbox gaming computers. The FTC is examining whether the acquisition could disadvantage competitors by restricting their access to the industry's leading games—a concern similar to those raised by the European Commission. The upcoming days will be critical in determining the future of this groundbreaking takeover in the gaming sector.