One of the most controversial issues recently has been Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard. Now finally, UK regulators have given their verdict on the purchase. The CMA in the UK opposes Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision.
Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision
More than a year has passed since Microsoft announced that it was interested in buying Activision Blizzard. However, the significance of this decision did not become apparent until months later.
After a few months, it became known that the American corporation could not make the purchase. This was due to a series of monopoly and competition issues. Since then, the acquisition has been a frequent news item, which much of the video game industry has followed closely.
Now, after several weeks, one of the most eagerly awaited verdicts on the acquisition is known. The CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) of the United Kingdom has decided to prohibit this action by Microsoft.
The acquisition has taken an unexpected turn for the two companies involved, as the news for Microsoft in March was favorable. Everything seemed to indicate that the acquisition of Activision Blizzard would go smoothly.
Recall that Microsoft and Activision had made some strategic moves, such as the launch of Call of Duty for Nintendo Switch. With this strategy, they sought to convince all regulators who had not yet given their approval, and it seemed that the purchase was closer than ever.
Even the CMA’s first conclusions were favorable. However, now everything turned against Microsoft, giving space to its main rivals to breathe.
In the United Kingdom, the CMA opposes the purchase of Activision Blizzard
According to information on the CMA’s Twitter account, the opinion of UK regulators is known.
The CMA comments that the purchase of Activision Blizzard would have negative consequences on cloud gaming competition as it would be reduced, affecting the development of this market. On the other hand, the CMA affirms that as competition would be reduced, users would have fewer innovations. At the same time, this purchase would give Microsoft absolute power over games.
Finally, the CMA comments that, considering these factors, they have decided to block Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
#Microsoft and #Activision merger: A thread on our concerns for the future of #CloudGaming ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/O2P14p2OO7
— Competition & Markets Authority (@CMAgovUK) April 26, 2023
After the CMA’s decision was announced, Microsoft and Activision Blizzard responded quickly, indicating they anticipated this option. Thus, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick and Microsoft President Brad Smith said they would appeal this decision, as they disagree.
Although the CMA ruling only applies to the UK, it is still a setback for both companies. So now, everyone is waiting for the decision of the European Commission.