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  • 1440 Daily Digest

EU Clears Microsoft Gaming Bid

European regulators approved Microsoft's $69B takeover of gaming giant Activision Blizzard yesterday, removing a hurdle for the American company's yearslong bid to buy the producer of hits such as "Call of Duty" and "World of Warcraft." The decision comes three weeks after British regulators blocked the deal, saying it would stifle competition in the cloud gaming market.

The commission acknowledged the deal would benefit Microsoft's market share, expressing concern over its possible dominance of cloud gaming, a developing technology where gamers play on remote servers instead of physical consoles (see 101). However, Microsoft made a series of commitments to bolster competition, which satisfied EU officials, including making licenses for its games available to competitors for at least 10 years.

The EU's decision complicates the bid's outlook ahead of the US Federal Trade Commission's hearing on the deal in August. If successful, the acquisition would be Microsoft's largest-ever and one of the 30 biggest deals in history (see list).

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