EU may have to reassess Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard deal after restructuring – Tec

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

Another notice from the European Union could signal a further review of a deal that European Commission regulators cleared earlier this year. Although the EU had the same concerns regarding cloud gaming as the EU, it secured the remedy as part of that approval, granting EU customers a free license to stream via “any cloud game streaming service of their choice” all current and future Activision Blizzard PCs and consoles. Games that have their license. Cloud providers will be given a free license to stream these games in the EU market.

At the time of that approval, Microsoft also committed to, a Tweet from Microsoft President Brad Smith, that these licenses would “apply worldwide” and apply “automatically to competing cloud gaming services.” Although Microsoft has said that the restructured transaction will not affect Microsoft’s obligations to the European Commission, Ubisoft will now control licensing outside of the EU market.

In practice, this means that a cloud gaming service can start with a free license in the EU, but will now need Ubisoft to license it if it wants to operate in the US, for example. Microsoft had planned to apply these licenses freely worldwide, but it is now surrendering Activision Blizzard cloud gaming rights to Ubisoft outside the EU.

The restructured deal means that if Microsoft pulls off the proposed acquisition, it will have to seek a license from Ubisoft for Activision Blizzard games on its Xbox cloud gaming service outside the EU. It will not be able to exclusively publish Activision Blizzard games on Xbox Cloud Gaming, nor will it have exclusive control over the licensing terms of Activision Blizzard games on competing services.

UK regulators are already considering this as a new deal, with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) a new deal. “Phase 1” investigation In this restructured agreement. Microsoft will now have to wait to see if the deal requires a refresh notice from the European Commission and further regulatory headaches.

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