Microsoft’s $68.2 billion bid to acquire Activision Blizzard is nearing a long awaited conclusion with The Verge reporting that the company is planning to announce the close of the deal as early as Friday October 13, 2023.
Sources familiar with the announcement have spoken with The Verge and it seems that barring issues with the formal approval from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) between now and next Friday, Microsoft feels confident enough to make an official declaration of victory over the 20-month long international approval battle.
While the CMA is still gathering opinions on the deal, it recently gave provisional approval of a restructured deal that better addressed earlier concerns that prompted an initial disapproval of the deal and forced Microsoft and Activision to readjust their closing dates from July to October of 2023.
The new deal Microsoft offered the CMA would offload Activision’s cloud gaming rights to Ubisoft for the next 15 years, empowering Ubisoft to be the market arbiter of current and future Activision game streaming licensing prices and contracts.
As for the 10-year deals Microsoft offered to the likes of Nintendo, NVIDIA, and Steam, those contracts remain in place and the company will still be in charge of physical and downloadable content coming from Activision Blizzard.
Microsoft has managed to secure most of the necessary global approvals for its Activision bid as well as two of the three biggest regulatory pillars in its market with the EU Commission and presumably the CMA.
The US Federal Trade Commission still remains an outlier as it is currently appealing a preliminary injunction effort it failed to obtain in July 2023, as well as resuming its own administrative case by next month.
While Microsoft pushes forward with its Activision Blizzard deal, the FTC remains a prominent hurdle but with the wind at its back, the deal seems to be coasting in the right direction for the company as of now.