microsoft activision cma block appeal

Microsoft expected to continue Activision acquisition drive despite CMA block

Publisher will appeal UK’s decision on Activision purchase

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Microsoft’s ongoing plans to purchase publisher Activision Blizzard were dealt a hammer blow yesterday, as UK regulators voted to block the $68.7 billion deal from taking place — Regardless, it is predicted that Microsoft will continue in its efforts to complete the sale, appealing against any legal challenges.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) represents the first global body to officially vote down the proposed merger — Microsoft having already gathered the favor of territories such as Brazil, Japan, South Africa, and Saudi Arabia. The CMA suggested in its report that the risk of monopolization of popular franchises, as well as a lack of future-proofing for elements such as cloud gaming and/or alternate PC operating software, had led to its decision to withhold its approval.

Activision Blizzard responded to the decision with a brutal statement, in which it stated its intention to reevaluate its growth in the UK economy, ending with the line “Global innovators large and small will take note that – despite all its rhetoric – the UK is clearly closed for business.”

‘A disservice to UK citizens’

Microsoft and Activision Blizzard will exercise their right to appeal the CMA’s decision, with many industry analysts noting that the completion of the sale is far from dead. In the aftermath of the CMA findings, Microsoft awaits the decision from Europe’s own regulators — due in late May — and will then spend the summer tackling a lawsuit filed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on its own soil. Again, should this lawsuit not fall in Micorosft’s favor, then the company can appeal the result.

This ongoing story has gone from straight business speak to frequent, openly ugly remarks, and it’s certainly not hyperbolic to call the whole situation bitter or vindictive on multiple players’ parts. This type of ferociousness tends to only show its face when billions of dollars are to be made, (or lost), and, over a year from the deal’s initial inception, it seems matters will get uglier before they get any better.


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Author
Chris Moyse
Senior Editor - Chris has been playing video games since the 1980s and writing about them since the 1880s. Graduated from Galaxy High with honors. Twitter: @ChrisxMoyse