The EU has approved Microsoft’s $69 billion (£55 billion) acquisition of Activision Blizzard as the tech firm prepares to appeal against the block imposed by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority on the proposed deal.
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The executive arm of the EU, the European Commission, said that Microsoft provided solutions in the developing area of cloud gaming that resolved antitrust concerns. According to the preliminary investigation of the commission, the transaction could have hurt rival PC operating system supply as well as competition in cloud gaming, which enables customers to stream video games stored on remote servers onto their devices.
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The commission, however, announced on Monday that it had accepted Microsoft’s suggested solutions, which included giving cloud gaming services a free license to allow European gamers to stream any Activision Blizzard PC and console games.
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The EU decision follows a blockade of the transaction by the UK Competition and Markets Authority last month over fears that it would lessen competition in the newly emerging cloud gaming market. According to the CMA, Microsoft would find it advantageous from a business standpoint to limit access to key Activision titles like Call of Duty to its own cloud gaming platforms.
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“Microsoft’s proposals, accepted by the European Commission today, would allow Microsoft to set the terms and conditions for this market for the next ten years,” CMA CEO Sarah Cardell said in a statement on Monday.
“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. This is one of the reasons the CMA’s independent panel group rejected Microsoft’s proposals and prevented this deal,” she added.