Microsoft Corp.’s $69 billion deal to buy Activision Blizzard Inc. has a new chance at winning U.K. regulator approval after the tech giant filed a report with the U.K. antitrust watchdog. A very different deal.

Competition and Markets Authority to launch new deal probe after Microsoft, rare move explain It would give Ubisoft Entertainment the rights to distribute mobile video games worldwide, which could assuage regulators’ concerns about the dominance of the cloud gaming market.

In Paris, Ubisoft rose 9.2 percent on Tuesday, its biggest intraday gain since February. Microsoft was little changed in U.S. premarket trading, while Activision Blizzard rose 1.1 percent. Activison is currently trading at about $91 per share, compared with the $95 offering price.

Reconsideration of the CMA merger decision is extremely rare at this stage, and the deal’s global regulatory battle has seen a series of dramatic twists and turns.Until recently, the deal was thought to be a stalled deal, but it landed an unexpected gain momentum After the UK agreed to review the new evidence.Microsoft in the US beat The FTC court challenged the deal. The European Union ratified the deal in May through behavioral remedies.

“We were really concerned before about whether Microsoft would be able to control the way that market was going,” CMA CEO Sarah Cardell said in an interview with Bloomberg Radio. “What we’re seeing from this new agreement is , we have to carefully test it through review, and instead of Microsoft being able to control how these cloud streaming rights are used, that control will be transferred to an independent company.”

Microsoft missed a July 18 deadline to complete the acquisition in the original agreement, signed in January 2022, as it overcame regulatory hurdles. Activision agreed to extend the timeline to Oct. 18 to give Microsoft more time to clear the remaining hurdles.

Microsoft asked the U.K. regulator in July to reconsider its April veto, arguing that the situation had “changed significantly” in light of the U.S. court ruling and subsequent Activision blockbuster game licensing deal call of Duty Compete with Sony Group.

“Under the restructuring deal, Microsoft will not be able to exclusively distribute Activision Blizzard games on Xbox Cloud Gaming, its own cloud streaming service, or have exclusive control over the licensing terms of Activision Blizzard games on rival services,” Microsoft said in a statement.

In its own statement, Ubisoft said these rights “will exist in perpetuity” and will be added to the Ubisoft+ subscription service.

The deal would give Ubisoft the rights to distribute mobile video games globally through its Ubisoft+ subscription platform, as well as the ability to license those titles to Microsoft and other cloud gaming companies and console makers. This benefits current and future titles released over the next 15 years after Microsoft’s deal with Activision closes, and the rights will live on in perpetuity.

The CMA said it preferred structural remedies to address concerns about mergers that hindered competition. To satisfy that preference, Microsoft and Activision have been pursuing a divestment that would win over regulators without compromising what Microsoft sees as a key part of the acquisition.The software giant has publicly ruled out selling the software call of Duty For example, a franchise.

In addition to backing a “market-based wholesale pricing mechanism” with usage-based pricing, Ubisoft will make a one-time payment to compensate Microsoft for its rights. The deal’s structure also allows Microsoft to honor its pre-existing streaming agreement in the EEA, which was struck to comply with European Commission demands, the company said.

The first phase of the investigation has now begun, with a statutory deadline set by the CMA of 18 October.


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