British Regulator CMA Reacts to EU Clearing Microsoft's Activision Blizzard Acquisition

Published: May 15, 2023 12:45 PM /


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British Antitrust regulator CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) has issued a response to the decision by the European Union to clear Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

In a frankly slightly bizarre development, the CMA felt the need to double down on its decision on Twitter, stressing the alleged harm the deal would inflict to competition in the cloud market and reiterating its rejection of Microsoft's proposals.


"The UK, US and European competition authorities are unanimous that this merger would harm competition in cloud gaming. The CMA concluded that cloud gaming needs to continue as a free, competitive market to drive innovation and choice in this rapidly evolving sector.

Microsoft’s proposals, accepted by the European Commission today, would allow Microsoft to set the terms and conditions for this market for the next 10 years.

They would replace a free, open and competitive market with one subject to ongoing regulation of the games Microsoft sells, the platforms to which it sells them, and the conditions of sale.

This is one of the reasons the CMA’s independent panel group rejected Microsoft’s proposals and prevented this deal. While we recognise and respect that the European Commission is entitled to take a different view, the CMA stands by its decision."

At the moment, despite the above claim about an "unanimous" position,  the CMA is isolated in its ruling against the deal, with the American FTC matching its opposition, but having to go through legal process to actually be able to block it. 

On the other hand, several national antitrust authorities have already approved the deal. We'll have to wait and see how things evolve with Microsoft having vowed to appeal against the CMA's decision and with the lawsuits going on in the United States. Of course, we'll keep you posted here on TechRaptor if anything relevant is shared. 



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