EU approves Microsoft's $68.7bn Activision Blizzard bid

Microsoft's stalled Activision Blizzard buyout received some positive news today, as the EU offered its approval.

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Workshyskiver130d ago

As rumoured earlier, the saga continues.

-Foxtrot130d ago

And now the UK will back down, which is my guess even though we should have a backbone and stand our ground since it defeats the point of an independent group like the CMA.

Hofstaderman130d ago (Edited 130d ago )

CMA not backing down. Publicly stated that they disagree with EU commission. Good luck to the appeal in the world's second largest market.

Kerppamaister130d ago

@Hoffer UK isn't the 2nd biggest.

vallencer130d ago


If you go by gaming revenue then UK is ranked in 5th market wise. If you go by population alone then the UK is 21st. You don't have to like the deal, completely fair, but don't just say random things.

I just googled these very easily to get my numbers. Both statistics are from last year.

VenomUK130d ago

Woah, I'm surprised to see the CMA rebuttal as it strongly explains exactly why it thinks the EU decision is wrong which is to do with Microsoft defining the cloud industry for a decade. The CMA said: "It would allow Microsoft to set the terms and conditions for this market for the next 10 years. They would replace a free, open and competitive market with one subject to ongoing regulation of the games Microsoft sells, the platforms to which it sells them, and the conditions of sale."

The EU will allow the deal with remedies which include allowing the ABK games to be accessible on any cloud platform where the user has a license. This means that if a person has bought the game for PlayStation they will be able to play it via the cloud, so if you have the digital license you can play it via PS Plus cloud. This will not stop Microsoft from bundling ABK games for free with Game Pass - therefore its cloud product will be a more attractive option to consumers.

343_Guilty_Spark130d ago

CMA didn’t have any ground to stand on and made all their initial concerns surrounding competition in cloud. When they couldn’t find evidence to support their claim, they simply made up a new one. They are trying to protect a super niche market (more than VR) where most players including Sony have said is a waste of resources and money.

Interesting Amazon Luna just launched in the UK.

Sonic1881130d ago

I'm more interested in the FTC. I wanna know how that will turn out.

Dirty_Lemons130d ago

To be fair we're fucking idiots for leaving the EU. We aren't the British Empire anymore, we offer nothing to the rest of the world now we sold up everything we used to own - railways, factories, steel works etc.

dcbronco129d ago

VenonUK the CMA argument was nonsense from the start. Allowing others to piggyback on Microsoft's work is a handout to Sony. One Microsoft can afford since business users already pay for the cloud infrastructure. But to continue to pretend Sony is somehow possibly injured when the CMA did nothing to limit Sony's payoffs to developers to stay away from Xbox while using their 70+% of the market as a bludgeon to push those agreements shows the CMA is a joke. How can you claim the cloud in its infancy is this huge advantage byt ignore those payoffs. It seems to me that the developers aren't the only one receiving payoffs. If they were fair the Sony payoffs should have been immediately halted if they were going to block Microsoft's acquisition. But it's clear fair isn't what they are into.

+ Show (5) more repliesLast reply 129d ago
solideagle130d ago (Edited 130d ago )

EU doesn't like UK after Brexit anyway :D I knew there will be 2 different outcomes, it seems like CMA vs world right now...MS can use this in court to win that look everybody agrees except CMA. I am not expert in these things anyway :)

PS: time to grab popcorn and soda :P

-Foxtrot130d ago

Oh yeah they despise us especially after Brexit

ED-E130d ago

Really? I'm from a German region and I barely read or heard from any professional source that we have to dislike/hate UK after they left the EU. However there were tension before as some of the UK politicians were less committed to the idea of EU. UK had a lot of privileges within the EU, that had generated tension with other members. For what its worth, some Russian military strategist must have been happy, as these was one of the plans from the 90s to weaken the EU/Europe in the future. See

MrDead130d ago (Edited 130d ago )

It's about money and influence, this deal was always going to go through. CMA is independent and free from influence unlike EU, the entire point of the CMA is to make sure lobbied influence is kept out unfortunately the UK has a right wing psycho party in power so the CMA will be weakened if enough money passes to the Tory party.

"Which companies spend the most on EU lobbying?
Big Tech is edging out Big Energy at the top of the rankings of highest declared company EU lobby budget, with Apple, Google, Meta, Microsoft, Qualcomm, and Huawei all featuring in the top ten. And while in 2015, there were four energy companies in the top 10, in 2022 it's only two, Shell and Exxon."

Unfortunately for the consumer It's more market consolidation, just like food, air travel, energy companies, telecoms, and even eggs in California, the fewer companies that own the majority of goods we purchase you will always see a drop in quality, value, wages, price rises and less choice.

Abracadabra130d ago

Honest question...
Are the UK better off after leaving the EU?

outsider1624130d ago

Could you get me some too. This keeps getting interesting lol.

Old McGroin130d ago

@ -Foxtrot

"Oh yeah they despise us especially after Brexit"

Not really though. That's just the narrative fed to the British public to enforce the us versus the world mentality that pushed through Brexit in the first place. Nobody actually despises the UK for Brexit, there's plenty of other reasons for that 😅

-Foxtrot129d ago

@Old McGroin

I'm not saying it's the main reason, the EU have always came off they've hated the UK long before Brexit but when it happened it didn't help.

solideagle129d ago


I personally think No. UK should have part of EU...

dcbronco129d ago

As Dirty_Lemons said the UK doesn't have much to offer. They're no longer an empire. They're a lapdog. That's why Sony could afford to buy them off. The CMA has absolutely no sense of justice or fairness. The only thing the CMA has the potential to do is to hurt the UK consumers. If everyone else approves Microsoft could walk away from the UK until they void all of Sony's exclusivity deals if things are meant to be fair until the console marketshare is even. Since that will probably never happen then Sony will no longer have UK exclusivity again. The CMA is a joke and they are do money hungry they are willing to display it to the whole world. I see another Prime Minister style early exit among their executives.

dcbronco129d ago

MrDead explain how Sony's extensive exclusivity deals while having over 70% of the market aren't the equivalent of market consolidation. Sony fans just want the advantage despite fairness. But the UK, like America is falling apart. And it's based on allowing true oligarchs to maintain their fortunes by suppressing competition. Besides a couple of weapons systems I can't think of one industry the UK is a leader in. Except riding the US's --nis. It's a recipe for failure because you're going to fail right along side of the US. Maybe you guys will wake up after a couple more PMs quit. But that will probably be too late. You've atrached your sail to a sinking ship. Brilliant!

Christopher129d ago

***MrDead explain how Sony's extensive exclusivity deals while having over 70% of the market aren't the equivalent of market consolidation.***

Sony doesn't have over 70% of the market. Glad we could help you with that.

In your attempt to discuss market consolidation, you yourself consolidated the discussion to just two players within the market and the comparison of their market reach. This ignores the other competition that Sony has, including Nintendo, PC, and Cloud/Streaming.

What's that? Sony made that comparison in one of their documents? Oh, great, but when talking about "the market" you have to actually include the entirety of the market.

You also have to understand that Microsoft is also using 2021 data, which is not the same as 2023 data.Here is the current market breakdown, approximately and based on available data.

Mobile >>> PC >> PlayStation ($24.41B) > Xbox ($15.56B) > Nintendo ($12.62B)

Microsoft gained 9% towards Sony in two years and all of them still collapse under the weight of Mobile and PC markets.

+ Show (8) more repliesLast reply 129d ago
Abracadabra130d ago (Edited 130d ago )

No surprise. Most people suspected the EU would approve... but It's unlikely the UK will change their mind (too stubborn). Without the UK the deal will likely fall.

MrDead130d ago

I think most people knew is was going to happen because of anti-lobbying groups bringing to light how much MS is spending on lobbying the EU. You don't spend millions a year to not get your way, they can't lobby the CMA though as they are independent.

From Reuters

BRUSSELS, Aug 31 (Reuters) - Alphabet Inc's (AAPL.O) Google unit, Facebook Inc (FB.O) and Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) are the three biggest lobbying spenders in Europe in a battle against tough new laws aimed at curbing U.S. tech giants' powers, a study released on Tuesday showed.

Such efforts should be a wake-up call to EU policymakers to beef up the draft laws and lobbying rules, the study by campaign groups Corporate Europe Observatory and LobbyControl warned.

The tech sector outspends even the pharma, fossil fuels, finance and chemicals sectors, which used to dominate lobbying, the report said.

The tech lobbying focuses on two key pieces of legislation. The Digital Markets' Act lists do's and don'ts for tech giants, and the Digital Services Act requires companies to do more to police content on their platforms.

The study warned about the industry's access to the European Commission, with lobbyists involved in three-quarters of the 270 meetings Commission officials had on the two draft laws.

It also cited the role played by trade and business associations, think tanks and even political parties in promoting the tech industry's narrative."

neutralgamer1992130d ago

Hopefully this means we can finally move forward

Will be very interesting to see what FTC does and if it’s finally approved how Sony will react. My guess is Sony will go after square enix and capcom

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 129d ago

A "certain group of individuals" celebrated too early. This isn't over...not by a long shot.

Sonyslave3130d ago (Edited 130d ago )

True and I think the CMA have a meeting with the PM explaining their decision why they block this deal over cloud harm a small 5 % of gaming.

's chairman and CEO have to testify tomorrow before the Business and Trade Committee of the UK Parliament on "the work of the Competition and Markets Authority".

UK lawmakers will ask questions, hopefully also related to #Microsoft-#ActivisionBlizzard !

Battlestar23130d ago

Word has it the British PM is going to unblock the deal and strip the CMA of powers for their arrogance in regards to how they mistreated MS.

S2Killinit130d ago (Edited 130d ago )

MS will have paid the politicians in parliment good money to lobby for them I’m sure, but the CMA is an independence body. It should he interesting.