Following initial opposition, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has approved Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, paving the way for the deal’s completion. This approval comes after Microsoft addressed the CMA’s concerns regarding potential competition issues in the cloud gaming market.
As reported by The Verge, Initially critical of the CMA and its decision to block the deal, Microsoft President Brad Smith has adopted a more conciliatory stance. In a recent interview, he commended the regulator’s approach, characterizing it as “tough and fair.” This shift likely reflects recognition of the CMA’s role in ensuring a competitive gaming landscape.
While approving the deal, the CMA emphasized its commitment to maintaining a level playing field. CEO Sarah Cardell cautioned businesses against adopting tactics similar to those employed by Microsoft during the initial stages of the investigation.
Although the UK hurdle has been cleared, the deal faces ongoing legal challenges in the United States. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is pursuing court and administrative action against the acquisition, citing concerns about its potential impact on competition. These ongoing proceedings highlight the complex regulatory landscape surrounding global tech mergers.
The resolution of the CMA investigation, albeit after adjustments by Microsoft, demonstrates the vital role regulators play in ensuring a fair and competitive market. While the path to completion remains uncertain due to ongoing US legal challenges, the UK approval marks a significant milestone for the Microsoft-Activision Blizzard deal.