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Microsoft Completes Its Acquisition Of Activision Blizzard King

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After several months of grappling with federal investigations, Microsoft has closed its deal to acquire Activision Blizzard King. The console manufacturer officially acquired the games company for $69 billion, gaining ownership of several lucrative franchises, including Call of Duty, Warcraft and Candy Crush. This follows the news earlier this morning that authorities had removed the final regulatory roadblock allowing the deal to happen.

Microsoft announced the closure of the deal, saying that Activision Blizzard King had joined Xbox. Phil Spencer added in a company blog that the company welcomed players from all platforms, saying, “You are the heart and soul of these franchises, and we are honored to have you as part of our community. Whether you play on Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo, PC or mobile, you are welcome here – and will remain welcome, even if Xbox isn’t where you play your favorite franchise.”

Microsoft first announced its intentions of buying Activision in January 2022, and the deal has faced multiple hurdles since that time. Government regulation agencies, including the U.S.’s Federal Trade Commission and the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority, have expressed reservations about the deal, saying it’s anti-competitive. The FTC lost the legal battle to limit the deal with an injunction — though it can still go against the deal with further litigation after it goes through.

The CMA successfully limited the deal until it was able to investigate further. In particular, it expressed concern for the nascent cloud gaming market, saying the deal would limit the opportunities for innovation on other platforms. To avoid this, Microsoft agreed to sign over cloud gaming rights for Activision Blizzard games to Ubisoft, and this move has apparently pacified the CMA to an extent. The agency gave its approval of the deal earlier this morning.

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