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Microsoft changes ‘open door’ for gaming deal
Pic: Shutterstock

22 Sep 2023 / regulation Print

Microsoft changes ‘open door’ for gaming deal

Britain’s competition body has said that a revised Microsoft proposal to buy the company behind the popular ‘Call of Duty’ game “opens the door” to the deal being cleared.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) earlier this year blocked the software giant’s plan to buy the whole of Activision, citing concerns that the deal would harm competition in cloud gaming in Britain.

Microsoft then submitted a new proposal, which included a plan to sell off Activision’s cloud gaming rights to an independent third party, Ubisoft Entertainment.

No limits on access

“In contrast to the original deal, Microsoft will no longer control cloud gaming rights for Activision’s content, so would not be in a position to limit access to Activision’s key content to its own cloud gaming service, or to withhold those games from rivals,” the CMA stated.

“Unlike the remedies the CMA previously rejected, Ubisoft will be free to offer Activision’s games both directly to consumers and to all cloud gaming service providers however it chooses,” it added.

The body also pointed out that the deal with Ubisoft also required Microsoft to port Activision games to operating systems other than Windows.

The CMA said that, while it had identified “limited residual concerns” with the new deal, Microsoft had put forward remedies that should address these issues.

The organisation has now opened a consultation, which runs until 6 October, on the new deal.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland