Microsoft boss slams UK labeling CMA’s Activision decision as “bad for Britain”

microsoft president brad smith addressing audience on coastline.Microsoft

Microsoft President Brad Smith has slammed the UK, believing that its decision to reject the acquisition of Activision Blizzard is “bad for Britain.”

In January 2022, it was announced that Microsoft was acquiring Activision Blizzard in a record-breaking deal worth $70 billion.

Skepticism over what the move meant for competition in the games industry led authorities like the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority to investigate.

After a lengthy investigation, the CMA decided to block the acquisition over fears that it would lead to Microsoft monopolizing cloud gaming. This decision has not gone down well with the company’s president.

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Brad Smith believes CMA decision will hurt UK market

Microsoft President Brad Smith has described the CMA’s decision to block the Activision Blizzard acquisition as “bad for Britain.” In an interview with BBC Radio 4, the Microsoft boss expressed his disappointment in the UK authorities.

Talking about the decision Smith said: “We are of course very disappointed about the CMA’s decision but more than that, unfortunately, I think it’s bad for Britain.”

The Microsoft boss continued: “The business community, the investment community, and the technology sector around the world have been following this case. The strong message the CMA has sent has surprised everyone and will discourage innovation and investment in the UK.”

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Throughout the interview, Smith would reaffirm how he feels that Europe is “attractive for investment,” whilst the CMA’s decision has “severely shaken,” Microsoft’s confidence in the UK market.

xbox showcase logoMicrosoft

Later speaking on why the acquisition got rejected Smith wasn’t convinced it was an informed decision: “When we study the decision it’s based on what we feel is such a flawed and faulty understanding of the market.”

On why the decision doesn’t make sense to him, he said: “It’s all about a potential concern about what could become the cloud streaming of games like you see with movies on Netflix. But this business is so small today that Microsoft can’t even stream games to more than 5,000 people at a time in the entire UK.”

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Microsoft has already voiced plans to appeal the CMA’s decision with this saga expected to continue for several months, if not years.