Microsoft is considering selling its cloud gaming rights in the UK to another company, according to sources. The company wants to remove concerns from the British regulator and enable it to take over Activision Blizzard.
The cloud gaming rights could be sold to a telecommunications, gaming or internet company, insiders report to Bloomberg. An investment company is also said to be interested in the cloud gaming rights. Presumably, after the sale of the cloud gaming rights, British gamers would no longer be able to play cloud gaming via Microsoft’s Game Pass Ultimate subscription. Instead, they should do so through the party that acquired these rights.
It previously appeared that Microsoft was planning to make ‘a small divestment’, although it was not said at the time what the company would divest. Microsoft would like to prevent cloud gaming rights in the UK, in order to respond to the concerns of the British regulator Competition and Markets Authority. They fear that the acquisition of Activision Blizzard could disrupt competition in the cloud gaming market. That is why the supervisor previously blocked the takeover.
The CMA says it is willing to talk to Microsoft about new measures. The two parties therefore decided to temporarily pause an ongoing appeal case. However, the regulator would then have to conduct new investigations, which could take months. Bloomberg’s sources nevertheless say that Microsoft and Activision Blizzard expect the acquisition to be completed before Tuesday, July 18.
The CMA is not the only regulator opposing the deal; the Federal Trade Commission also wants to block the takeover. The FTC on Tuesday lost a lawsuit seeking to temporarily block the takeover. The supervisory authority appealed and also asked the court to block the takeover until a decision is made in that appeal. The court denied this request on Thursday. The FTC’s appeal is still pending, but Microsoft does not have to wait for the decision of that appeal. This company wants to acquire Activision Blizzard before July 18.