In a recent development, Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard has been blocked by the British government over fears of creating a monopoly on cloud gaming. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) expressed concerns about Microsoft’s 60-70% share of cloud gaming services through its gaming division, Xbox, the hegemony of its operating system, Windows, and the Azure infrastructure.
The CMA stated that the acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft would reinforce its advantage in the market and provide control over important gaming content, such as Call of Duty, Overwatch, and World of Warcraft. Allowing Microsoft to take such a strong position in the rapidly growing cloud gaming market would risk undermining the innovation that is crucial to the development of such opportunities.
The blocking of the acquisition by the British government puts Microsoft in a tough spot with the EU resolution expected to be announced on May 22nd. In recent months, the acquisition has created tensions between Microsoft and Sony. However, the CMA’s decision has halted Microsoft’s progress in creating a global monopoly regarding cloud gaming in the UK.