Microsoft's Revised Offer for Activision Blizzard Nears Clearance

In a major turn of events, Microsoft's renewed bid to acquire the renowned Call of Duty creator, Activision Blizzard, has found favor with the UK's competition authority.

by Faruk Imamovic
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Microsoft's Revised Offer for Activision Blizzard Nears Clearance
© Getty Images News/Mario Tama

In a major turn of events, Microsoft's renewed bid to acquire the renowned Call of Duty creator, Activision Blizzard, has found favor with the UK's competition authority. The Competition Markets Authority (CMA) opines that this amended proposal might just "open the door" for the blockbuster deal to gain approval, addressing the previously cited concerns, reports BBC.

Deal Adjustments in Focus

Originally, Microsoft had proposed a staggering $69bn (£59bn) deal to acquire Activision Blizzard. This ambitious bid, however, faced a blockade from the UK's regulatory body. The primary contention was centered around cloud gaming rights, which Microsoft has now opted not to purchase under the revised offer.

Interestingly, it's Ubisoft that will be stepping in to procure this chunk of Activision's assets. This strategic move ensures that high-caliber games like Call of Duty, Overwatch, and World of Warcraft's cloud streaming will remain outside Microsoft's domain.

A Question of Timing and Strategy

Sarah Cardell, the Chief Executive of the CMA, expressed the authority's stance, stating, "The CMA's position has been consistent throughout - this merger could only go ahead if competition, innovation, and choice in cloud gaming was preserved." She also announced an impending consultation that will precede the deal's final decision.

Despite the previous apprehensions leading many to believe that the takeover might crumble, the transaction now seems tantalizingly close to sealing the deal. This shift from near-collapse to the brink of approval underscores the significance of strategy and negotiation in mergers and acquisitions.

Yet, it wasn’t all praise. Ms. Cardell offered a nuanced critique, pointing out the benefits of timely decision-making in such negotiations. "It would have been far better... if Microsoft had put forward this restructure during our original investigation," she remarked.

Her statement underscores the tangible costs, uncertainty, and protracted timelines that can arise when viable solutions are not presented at opportune moments, serving as a lesson for future corporate negotiations. The forthcoming consultation will be crucial in determining the fate of this colossal merger.

The implications of the final decision will undoubtedly shape the landscape of cloud gaming and the larger realm of digital entertainment.

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