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Microsoft’s Takeover Of Activision Blizzard Nears Final Approval

Microsoft ’s (MSFT) $68 billion U.S. acquisition of Activision Blizzard (ATVI) is nearing final approval after regulators in the United Kingdom signalled they are likely to greenlight the deal.

Specifically, the British competition watchdog said that a newly restructured deal submitted by Microsoft removes the concerns it had about cloud gaming.

The U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) had blocked the acquisition earlier this year. But Microsoft provided a revised deal in which it agreed to sell the non-European streaming rights of some Activision video games to rival Ubisoft (UBI).

The CMA said that the sale to Ubisoft would prevent some Activision content, such as the popular video games “Call of Duty” and “World of Warcraft,” from coming under the exclusive control of Microsoft, which the regulator said would have hurt competition.

Microsoft has made several concessions to complete the takeover of Activision Blizzard, including striking a10-year deal with Sony (SONY) to keep current and future “Call of Duty” games on its PlayStation console.

The U.K. regulator is now expected to officially approve the Activision Blizzard takeover by October 6, ahead of an October 18 deadline that has been set by the companies.

Microsoft’s stock has gained 33% over the last 12 months to trade at $319.53 U.S. per share.

Activision Blizzard’s stock has risen 20% in the past year and is now trading at $92.35 U.S., near the price per share of $95 U.S. that Microsoft has agreed to pay for the video game maker.