Microsoft Activision Blizzard

The European Commission Approves Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard Acquisition

The European Commission has announced that it has approved Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard. However, the approval is reportedly conditional on Microsoft adequately addressing several cloud gaming concerns that would harm distribution of games via cloud streaming services. To address this, Microsoft claimed it would provide “a free license to consumers in the EEA that would allow them to stream, via any cloud game streaming services of their choice, all current and future Activision Blizzard PC and console games for which they have a license,” and “a corresponding free license to cloud game streaming service providers to allow EEA-based gamers to stream any Activision Blizzard’s PC and console games.” Last month, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced that it has officially blocked the $68.7 billion acquisition

In response to the company’s proposal, the commission said:

“These licenses will ensure that gamers that have purchased one or more Activision games on a PC or console store, or that have subscribed to a multi-game subscription service that includes Activision games, have the right to stream those games with any cloud game streaming service of their choice and play them on any device using any operating system.”

The commitments fully address the competition concerns identified by the Commission and represent a significant improvement for cloud gaming as compared to the current situation.”


Regarding the announcement, Microsoft president Brad Smith said:

Responding to today’s announcement, Microsoft president Brad Smith said: “The European Commission has required Microsoft to license popular Activision Blizzard games automatically to competing cloud gaming services. This will apply globally and will empower millions of consumers worldwide to play these games on any device they choose.”


Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick:

“The EC conducted an extremely thorough, deliberate process to gain a comprehensive understanding of gaming. As a result, they approved our merger with Microsoft, although they required stringent remedies to ensure robust competition in our rapidly growing industry.”

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