Per Reuters and sources well-acquainted with the situation, the European Commission's impending approval comes nearly three weeks after the UK's decision to halt the deal, the largest of its kind ever witnessed in the gaming industry. The UK's competition watchdog had raised significant concerns about the potential impact on competition within the cloud gaming space, resulting in its decision to block the merger.
The news of the EU's impending clearance, signals a critical juncture in the global examination of this monumental deal. If the EU regulators give their approval, it would mark a significant milestone in Microsoft's ambition to cement its standing in the gaming industry through the acquisition of Activision, the renowned game publisher known for franchises like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft.
Microsoft Corp (MSFT), the Redmond, Washington-based tech giant, made headlines earlier this year when it announced plans to acquire Activision (ATVI) for $69 billion. The deal, if approved, would significantly bolster Microsoft's gaming portfolio, positioning it as a powerhouse in the sector, while potentially reshaping the gaming industry's landscape.
However, the proposed merger has not been without its share of controversy. The UK's decision to block the deal represents one of the significant obstacles Microsoft has faced in its pursuit of Activision. The UK's competition authority expressed concerns that the merger could potentially stifle competition in the rapidly growing field of cloud gaming.
Despite the UK's opposition, the EU's pending approval of the merger could prove pivotal for Microsoft. The EU is a major market, and its approval could offset some of the regulatory headwinds the company is facing elsewhere. However, the final decision is still subject to the official confirmation expected on May 15.
While the world awaits the EU's verdict, the decision's outcome will undeniably have a significant impact on the gaming industry's future. As cloud gaming continues to evolve, the regulatory decisions regarding such high-stake mergers will undoubtedly influence the industry's trajectory.