UK CMA Extends Microsoft Activision Blizzard Acquisition Investigation By Six Weeks

Published: July 14, 2023 9:00 AM /


Crash and various other characters leap towards a Wumpa fruit in a sort of visual representation of the UK CMA's "battle" with Microsoft over its Activision merger

The UK CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) has granted itself an extra six weeks to consider Microsoft's arguments regarding the proposed Activision-Blizzard merger. In a new notice of extension, the regulator says there is "insufficient time remaining" in the current period for proper consideration, and so additional time is needed.

The notice was released earlier today, and it acknowledges that Microsoft's proposed arguments for the CMA allowing the merger are "detailed and complex". The current statutory period for the CMA to render its decision on the merger ends on July 18th, which the regulatory body says is insufficient for "full and proper consideration".

As such, the CMA says there are "special reasons" to extend this statutory period by six weeks, which means it will now end on August 29th. Despite this extension, however, the CMA says it intends to "discharge its duty as soon as possible" and provide a date before this deadline.

Three soldiers standing in front of a burning structure in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, an Activision game
Activision's properties include Call of Duty, as well as Crash BandicootWarcraft, and more.

This comes just a few days after Microsoft and the CMA agreed to negotiate on the merger after the US FTC was defeated in court over its own block of the deal. The FTC is currently appealing that decision, and it remains to be seen what the outcome will be.

However the US courts decide, one thing's for sure: the CMA's extension of its investigation period means that the merger saga isn't coming to an end anytime soon.

Just yesterday, Turkey's regulatory body unconditionally approved the Microsoft-Activision Blizzard acquisition, but the UK regulatory body, as well as the FTC, still haven't provided their support.

If you're not up on this acquisition, it's currently the largest proposed merger in gaming history, standing at $68.7 billion. It was originally announced in January last year, and since then, it's seen both approval and challenges from various legal and regulatory bodies around the world.

As always, we'll bring you the latest on the deal when we get it.


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