Microsoft has submitted a new deal to Britain’s competition regulator for the acquisition of video gaming giant Activision Blizzard, the CMA said Tuesday.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it has “opened a new phase 1 investigation into a new, restructured deal by Microsoft to buy Activision”, after blocking a previous version of the deal in April.
Microsoft launched a bid for Activision Blizzard early last year, seeking to establish the world’s third biggest gaming firm by revenue after China’s Tencent and Japan’s PlayStation maker Sony.
But the $69 billion deal has faced significant scrutiny by antitrust regulators.
The CMA said in a statement that the new deal follows confirmation by the regulator that “the original deal would be blocked to protect innovation and choice in cloud gaming”.
Under the new proposed deal “Microsoft will not acquire cloud rights for existing Activision PC and console games, or for new games released by Activision during the next 15 years (this excludes the European Economic Area),” the CMA added.
Instead these rights will be divested to French game developer Ubisoft Entertainment prior to Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision, according to the CMA.
“This is not a green light. We will carefully and objectively assess the details of the restructured deal and its impact on competition, including in light of third-party comments,” Sarah Cardell, the CMA chief executive, said.
The new deadline for the review is October 18.