Microsoft revamps deal for video game maker Activision Blizzard to meet UK demands

LONDON — Microsoft revamped its bid to buy video game maker Activision Blizzard today to appease British competition regulators, who are the last major hurdle to closing one of the biggest deals in tech history.

The Competition and Markets Authority said it has opened a new preliminary investigation into the updated transaction with a deadline for a decision due on Oct. 18.

Xbox maker Microsoft has been on a quest to acquire Activision, maker of the popular Call of Duty game franchise since announcing the $69 billion deal in January 2022.

The blockbuster deal has secured approvals from antitrust authorities covering 40 countries, including the European Union.

But it has been held up in Britain, where authorities moved to block it earlier this year over worries about competition being stifled in the emerging cloud gaming market, where players can avoid buying pricey consoles and stream games to their tablets or phones.

Under the restructured deal, Microsoft will sell the cloud streaming rights for all current and new Activision games released over the next 15 years to French game studio Ubisoft Entertainment, Microsoft President Brad Smith said in blog post.