EU Commission approves Microsoft & Activision Blizzard merger

The European Commission approved Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard under various conditions related to cloud gaming.

Image via Microsoft

Another national market authority has officially given approval for Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard to go through. After quite a stretch of scrutiny and hearings, the European Union Commission has officially given the okay for the deal, pending various stipulations Microsoft must satisfy in regards to its dominance in the cloud gaming market. This approval makes the United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority one of the last remaining holdouts on the deal’s closure.

The European Commission announced its decision in a press release on the European Union website on May 15, 2023. The EU wrote that the results of the decision would require Microsoft and Xbox to meet further stipulations that have yet to be satisfied:

Activision Blizzard and Xbox promotional art
The European Commission's conditional approval of Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard marks another major milestone for the deal's closing.
Source: Image via Xbox

Microsoft’s dominance in the cloud gaming market has been a centerpiece of concerns by global market authorities regarding the $68.7 billion USD deal. It’s a concern that Microsoft has worked to assuage by signing multiple deals with smaller cloud gaming platforms such as Ubitus and Boosteroid to bring its games to their platforms. The stipulations call for further action on Microsoft’s part to ensure it doesn’t remain in too much control of the cloud gaming market, which was a sentiment echoed by the CMA when it blocked the deal. Nonetheless, Activision Blizzard felt it was a positive step forward towards the deal’s possible closure with CEO Bobby Kotick commenting on the matter:

Currently, the Microsoft and Activision Blizzard deal still faces challenges from the US Federal Trade Commission and CMA, but has lawyered up bigtime for the latter. As we await further developments in the situation, stay tuned for more details here at Shacknews.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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