The UK is Investigating Microsoft’s Acquisition of Activision Blizzard

Posted on July 6, 2022 by Laurent Giret in Games, Microsoft, Xbox with 6 Comments

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.

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Comments (6)

6 responses to “The UK is Investigating Microsoft’s Acquisition of Activision Blizzard”

  1. lvthunder

    It's so weird to me that a country that neither party is headquartered in has any say if two companies can merge or not.

    • rm

      It likely depends on whether MS wants customers from UK.

    • garumphul

      Me too. I'm genuinely what the consequences would be if the UK said no to the deal. What legal authority do they have over two US based companies? Is it literally "you can't sell your games here"? I'm pretty sure MS would survive that hit.

    • bkkcanuck

      When you become a large corporation it becomes a fact of life that you are under the regulatory authority of every major country/trade group that you do significant business in. To be honest though, the games industry has concentrated way more than is necessary and the continuous aquisition of game studios by a few large congromerates -- should have been challenged long ago.

  2. dkrowe

    Last para: Just => June

  3. awright18

    There's a typo, likely from autocorrect in the date it should wrap up. "Just 30, 2023".