UK Regulators Block Microsoft’s Mega-Deal with Activision Blizzard – Shock Waves Across Gaming Industry!

David Wolinsky

Microsoft’s planned acquisition of publisher Activision Blizzard has been officially blocked in the UK by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The $68.7 billion acquisition was blocked on grounds that it would “alter the future of the fast-growing cloud gaming market, leading to reduced innovation and less choice for UK gamers over the years to come.” The CMA has posted a full statement on the UK Government website that elaborates on the decision in greater detail, confirming that Microsoft’s proposed solution to its concerns “had significant shortcomings and would require regulatory oversight by CMA.” In regards to its specific concerns, the CMA stated the following:

  • “The cloud allows UK gamers to avoid buying expensive gaming consoles and PCs and gives them much more flexibility and choice as to how they play. Allowing Microsoft to take such a strong position in the cloud gaming market just as it begins to grow rapidly would risk undermining the innovation that is crucial to the development of these opportunities.”

Microsoft’s deal with Nintendo might be in jeopardy as well, concerning Call of Duty which was scheduled to be brought to the Nintendo platforms for a 10-year commitment. The specific language of the deal was vague but it did seem as though the deal was contingent on Microsoft’s acquisition being approved by regulators. Microsoft has confirmed that it will appeal the decision by the CMA.

What do you make of the CMA’s decision over Microsoft’s planned acquisition of Activision Blizzard? Do you think it will eventually go through? Share your thoughts with a comment below.

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