After seeing its initial offer rejected by the UK’s competition watchdog, Microsoft has officially submitted a new bid to buy Activision Blizzard, makers of the world-famous first-person shooting game Call of Duty.
The original bid, for $69 billion (€63.2bn; £59bn), was blocked by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), however the regulator has now said it will review the new deal, adding that “This is not a green light”.
The new offer will not see Microsoft buy the rights for Activision’s existing or new games stored in the cloud. Games stored in the cloud allow players to purchase content at will.
The pledge covers a period of 15 years and does not cover Activision’s PC and console games in the European Economic Area.
Microsoft said that instead of controlling all of Activision’s games – which includes the ever-popular Candy Crush, it would sell the content to rival video game publisher Ubisoft.
In turn, Ubisoft would then be able to supply Activision’s content “to all cloud gaming service providers, including to Microsoft itself”.
Should the fresh bid be successful, it would be this biggest of its kind in the history of the gaming sector.
Indeed, Microsoft is the owner and maker of the Xbox gaming console – and is seeking to acquire Activision to add more titles to its Game Pass streaming service.
The initial bid split regulators in the UK, Europe and the US – while PlayStation maker Sony has also objected to the deal. It raised concerns that Microsoft could stop major titles from being available on its own console.
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