According to a regulatory filing on Friday, Microsoft has completed the almost $69 billion acquisition of video game publisher Activision Blizzard. This follows a protracted regulatory review process that began after the deal was first disclosed early last year.
After the purchase was previously approved by the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority, which stated that Microsoft satisfied the agency’s worry about competition in the newly burgeoning cloud gaming industry, Activision Blizzard confirmed the deal’s completion in a securities filing on Friday.
This deal was an All-Cash Exchange from Microsoft
As part of a pledge made to the European Commission, Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming, stated that the agreement will enable Microsoft to enable users to stream Activision Blizzard games over the cloud in Europe. Microsoft will also “start the work” to add games to Xbox Game Pass.
The largest agreement in the history of the video game industry, worth roughly $69 billion, was reached after regulators in the U.S. and the U.K. raised concerns about Microsoft’s decision to expand its cloud gaming services.
Sony also cautioned that the merger might prohibit PlayStation players from accessing well-known Activision Blizzard titles, such as the Call of Duty series, although Microsoft subsequently negotiated a 10-year agreement to let Call of Duty releases in the future on the PlayStation. In July, not long after Microsoft negotiated a settlement with U.K. regulators, a California judge ruled in favor of the acquisition.
Activision Blizzard is Microsoft’s most recent acquisition, coming after agreements to buy ZeniMax Media, which owns the video game developer Bethesda Softworks, for $7.5 billion in 2020, and LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in 2016. Other acquisitions involving video game makers include a 2000 agreement to buy Bungie Software, the company behind the Halo franchise, and a 2002 agreement to buy Rare, the company behind, among other franchises, the Banjo-Kazooie series.