Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard acquisition investigated by UK regulator

Brianna Reeves
microsoft activision blizzard acquistion photo

The United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) counts as the latest regulating body to investigate Microsoft’s acquisition of mega-publisher Activision Blizzard.

Microsoft announced plans to purchase Activision Blizzard for nearly $70 billion earlier this year, a historic deal that has raised a few red flags for some.

Activision’s shareholders approved the merger a few months ago. In addition, the agreement recently garnered the support of major labor union Communications Workers of America.

However, in late January, America’s Federal Trade Commission (FTC) noted its intention to review the buyout, hoping to determine whether it will constitute a case of unfair competition.

CMA investigating Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard acquisition

microsoft activision blizzard buyout acquisition
Microsoft’s pending purchase of Activision is valued at $68.7 billion.

The UK’s competition regulator, Competition and Markets Authority, has announced a probe into the Microsoft and Activision Blizzard agreement.

Upon detailing its reasoning in a statement to CNBC, the regulating body said the review will determine whether the takeover could potentially injure competition and ultimately disadvantage consumers – “for example, through higher prices, lower quality, or reduced choice.”

The CMA will hold a consultation through July 20 for any third parties interested in delivering feedback. A September 1 deadline marks the time at which the CMA must deliver its decision.

xbox microsoft Activision blizzard acquisition

Microsoft’s Corporate VP and General Counsel, Lisa Tanzi, told CNBC the company will “fully cooperate” with the regulator’s investigation.

Tanzi additionally noted that Microsoft remains confident its Activision Blizzard acquisition will be finalized by the end of Fiscal Year 2023.

Notably, Microsoft has already addressed a few concerns related to questions of potentially unfair competition. For one, Head of Xbox Phil Spencer previously made clear the company’s desire to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation.

How Microsoft will approach other historically cross-platform IP if and when the deal goes through presently remains unknown.

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