The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced today that it’s investigating Microsoft’s upcoming acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The $67.8 billion deal will see Microsoft take ownership of Call of Duty, Diablo, and other blockbuster video game franchises, but it has yet to be greenlighted by antitrust authorities across the world.
“The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is considering whether it is or may be the case that this transaction, if carried into effect, will result in the creation of a relevant merger situation under the merger provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002 and, if so, whether the creation of that situation may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services,” the CMA said in a press release today.
The UK’s antitrust watchdog is currently waiting for feedback on the transaction from interested parties, and it expects to provide an initial decision by September 1. So far, Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard had not hit any major roadblocks, but the UK’s CMA could potentially change this.
Microsoft said earlier this year that it expected the deal to close at the end of Microsoft’s current fiscal year on Just 30, 2023, assuming it gets the thumbs up from all regulatory bodies. If the deal is expected to transform Microsoft into the third-largest company in the video game industry, the Redmond giant also said that it won’t be pulling blockbuster cross-platform franchises such as Call of Duty from PlayStation and other consoles.