Activision Blizzard

UK Regulator CMA Officially Blocks Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard Acquisition

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has announced that it has officially blocked Microsoft’s proposed $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard after months of investigation. The CMA claims the prevention is “over concerns the deal would alter the future of the fast-growing cloud gaming market, leading to reduced innovation and less choice for UK gamers over the years to come.” The company also stated that the final decision to prevent the deal “comes after Microsoft’s proposed solution failed to effectively address the concerns in the cloud gaming sector.”

Currently, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is suing Microsoft in the US in order to prevent the deal due to competition concerns, while the EU is still performing an investigation on the deal. Activision announced that it would work with Microsoft to appeal the decision and claimed the CMA has done “disservice to UK citizens”.

 It’s statement reads:

“The CMA’s report today is a major setback for the UK’s ambitions to be a tech hub, and we will work with Microsoft to reverse it on appeal. This report is also a disservice to UK citizens, who face increasingly dire economic prospects, and we will need to reassess our growth strategy in the UK. Global innovators large and small will take note that – despite all its rhetoric – the UK is closed for business.”

Regarding the announcement, Microsoft’s president Brad Smith expressed the company’s disappointment and said:

“We remain fully committed to this acquisition and will appeal. The CMA’s decision rejects a pragmatic path to address competition concerns and discourages technology innovation and investment in the United Kingdom.

We have already signed contracts to make Activision Blizzard’s popular games available on 150 million more devices, and we remain committed to reinforcing these agreements through regulatory remedies. We’re especially disappointed that after lengthy deliberations, this decision appears to reflect a flawed understanding of this market and the way the relevant cloud technology actually works.”

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