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    Friday, April 28, 2023

    Microsoft Signs 10-Year Deal with Nware after UK Blocks Activision Deal

    Microsoft said on Friday it signed a 10-year deal with Nware to bring Xbox and Activision Blizzard games to the Spanish cloud-gaming platform, days after Britain blocked its $69 billion buyout of the Call of Duty maker.

    The agreement marks the latest effort by Microsoft to ease fears its purchase of Activision would hinder competition in cloud gaming, which was the reason cited by the Competition and Markets Authority to veto the biggest deal in gaming.

    "While it's still early for the emerging cloud segment in gaming, this new partnership combined with our other recent commitments will make more popular games available on more cloud game streaming services than they are today," Microsoft President Brad Smith said.

    The Xbox console maker, which plans to appeal CMA's decision, has signed similar deals with the owners of streaming platforms including Valve, Nvidia and Boosteroid.

    It had also offered Sony — a vocal opponent of the deal — a 10-year Call of Duty license, in line with an agreement to bring the multi-billion dollar franchise to Nintendo's Switch.

    In its decision on Wednesday, the CMA said Microsoft had an estimated 60 percent - 70 percent of global cloud gaming services as well as competitive advantages including owning Xbox, PC operating system Windows and cloud provider Azure.

    The Activision deal is the biggest involving technology companies the regulator has blocked. Europe will decide on the deal by May 22. The US Federal Trade Commission is also seeking to block it.

    Microsoft shares were slightly lower in US premarket trading, while those of Activision ticked up 0.2 percent. © Reuters

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