Microsoft will change the terms of its Activision Blizzard buyout offer in a new effort to win approval from the U.K. competition regulator.
The regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority, said Microsoft
will now license Activision’s global cloud streaming to Ubisoft Entertainment, for any game available now or in the next 15 years. Ubisoft, in its own release, highlighted the ability to stream the popular Call of Duty franchise.
Financial terms were not released, but the regulator said Ubisoft will make a one-off payment and also agree a market-based wholesale pricing mechanism.
The license will be exclusive except in the European economic area. Ubisoft would have the ability to require Microsoft to provide versions of games on operating systems other than Windows, such as Linux.
jumped nearly 5% in opening Paris trade.
The regulator now says it’s inviting comments on the structure of the new offer. “This is not a green light. We will carefully and objectively assess the details of the restructured deal and its impact on competition, including in light of third-party comments,” said the regulator’s CEO, Sarah Cardell.
Microsoft last year agreed to buy Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion, or $95 per share. Activision stock
closed Monday at $90.72.
In a blog post, Microsoft Vice Chair Brad Smith said it anticipates the CMA review processes can be completed before the 90-day extension in its acquisition agreement with Activision Blizzard expires on Oct.18. He also said the deal with Ubisoft was carefully structured not to interfere with an existing deal struck with European regulators.