After several regulatory pushbacks of its $69 billion acquisition of Activision from regulators in the United States and Europe, Microsoft has eventually gotten approval from the European antitrust regulators.
The European Commission, known for its strict stance on tech mergers, gave the green light to the deal after the software giant offered remedies to address their concerns. One of these conditions is that Microsoft will allow other cloud streaming providers to access popular Activision games for free, such as Call of Duty and World of Warcraft.
While some regulators are taking a tougher stance against tech acquisitions to protect competition, the EU's approval has diverged from the actions of other regulators.
This approval is seen as a significant step for Microsoft's acquisition of Activision, but challenges remain as regulators in other countries, such as the United States and Britain, continue to scrutinize the deal.
The challenges faced by the software companies in acquiring its competitor Activision, reflect broader efforts by regulators to ensure a level playing field in growing markets like cloud gaming. Critics argue that maintaining competition between Microsoft and Activision would be more beneficial than allowing consolidation and then imposing constraints on their operations.
It is noteworthy to mention that the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) found that Microsoft already holds a significant share of 60 to 70% of the global cloud gaming services market.
Looking at this number, I dare say the concerns of the regulators about Microsoft's potential cloud gaming monopoly are somewhat justified, but what do I know? I might be biased, especially because I do not want to give up my COD access, anytime ever.