It’s important to note that the United Kingdom could still prove to be a roadblock for the deal. The U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority had issues with the acquisition, saying this acquisition would give Microsoft an unfair advantage, specifically in the realm of cloud gaming. In light of today’s news, however, Microsoft and the CMA have agreed to a “stay of litigation” so the two parties can continue negotiating the deal.
“After today’s court decision in the U.S., our focus now turns back to the UK,” Microsoft vice chair and president Brad Smith said in a statement to Twitter. “While we ultimately disagree with the CMA’s concerns, we are considering how the transaction might be modified in order to address those concerns in a way that is acceptable to the CMA.” Smith goes on to note that Microsoft and the CMA will need approval from the U.K.’s Competition Appeal Tribunal to suspend litigation and resume negotiation, while the CMA confirmed in a separate statement to The Verge that it is “ready to consider any proposals from Microsoft to restructure the transaction in a way that would address the concerns set out in our Final Report.”
While the deal isn’t done yet, the U.K. is the final big roadblock standing in the way of this acquisition. The decision to hold off on litigation in favor of more negotiation is an encouraging development for those in Microsoft’s camp, but it’s impossible to say where things will go from here. Still, if Microsoft and the CMA agree to new modifications, then it may not be long before Activision Blizzard is officially an Xbox company.