The Europe Commission recently approved Microsoft’s acquisition of game developer Activision Blizzard. However, the approval is subject to certain conditions that must guarantee the availability of the publisher’s library of games.
According to the EC, the acquisition does not threaten the position of competing consoles and game subscriptions. However, Microsoft may still hinder competition in the distribution of games via cloud-based gaming services.
The competition regulator indicates that manufacturers of alternative game consoles to Microsoft’s Xbox, such as Sony’s PlayStation, can still survive if they no longer receive titles from Activision Blizzard. Nor is the game developer planning to offer its games through game services. Individual sales will continue to prevail.
The EC does note that unlawful competition is possible when Activision Blizzard releases games exclusively through the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate streaming service.
Microsoft has therefore promised to offer all game cloud services a free streaming license for all of the developer’s current and future games over the next ten years. European gamers can therefore continue to play Activision Blizzard games at all times.
The approval of the acquisition is an important step for Microsoft in finalizing the acquisition deal. With the approval, the competition process in a first major market is now complete.
In other important markets, such as the UK and the US, the competition authorities are still stalling. For the time being, they are blocking the deal or have requested additional investigations into the possible consequences of the takeover, among other things, before giving a final opinion.
Also read: British regulator blocks Microsoft acquisition of Activision Blizzard