EU to reassess Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard deal after restructuring

“The Commission is carefully assessing whether developments in the UK require another notification to the Commission,” European Commission spokeswoman Ariana Podesta said in a statement. on the edge.

Another announcement for the EU could signal a further review of a deal approved by European Commission regulators earlier this year. Although the EU has the same cloud gaming concerns as the EU, it received remedies as part of that agreement, giving EU consumers a free license to stream current and future Activision Blizzard PC and console games through “any cloud game streaming services of their choice”. They have the license to do so. Cloud providers will also be given a free license to stream these games in EU markets.

During that endorsement, Microsoft promised, a A tweet from Microsoft President Brad Smith, these licenses “apply worldwide” and apply “automatically to competing cloud gaming services.” Although Microsoft says the restructured transaction will not affect Microsoft’s obligations to the European Commission, Ubisoft will now control licensing outside of EU markets.

In effect, that means the cloud gaming service can launch with a free license in the EU, but Ubisoft now needs to license it if it wants to operate in the US. Microsoft plans to use these licenses worldwide for free, but it is now ceding the Activision Blizzard cloud gaming rights to Ubisoft outside the European Union.

The restructured deal means that if Microsoft closes the proposed acquisition, it will also have to acquire a license from Ubisoft for Activision’s Blizzard games on its Xbox cloud gaming service outside the European Union. Activision cannot publish Blizzard Games exclusively on Xbox Cloud Gaming, and Activision does not have exclusive control over the license terms of Blizzard Games on competing services.

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UK regulators already consider this a new deal, with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) opening up a new deal. “Phase 1” investigation In this restructuring agreement. Microsoft now has to wait to see if the European Commission needs an update notification for the deal and more regulatory headaches.

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