UK Regulator Investigation Concludes Against Microsoft’s Activision Merger

CMA: Higher Prices And Less Choice For Gamers!

The Activision Blizzard acquisition has not seen many significant developments in the past few weeks. While the regulators continue to take their time to come up with a decision, there have been a lot of speculations about the eventual outcome for Microsoft and the gaming industry. 

However, the CMA has just published provisional results for its investigation on the matter. Being one of the biggest regulators, the CMA has a large part to play in the result of the $68.7 Billion deal. 

Despite Microsoft’s efforts, the CMA is against the acquisition and has provided a list of remedies for Microsoft. 

Microsoft president Brad smith on the Activision Acquisition Blizzard Candy Crush Call of Duty

Microsoft was already expecting opposition from the UK regulator, but the public responses to the CMA gave the gaming giant some hope for the future. However, the CMA has concluded that Microsoft buying Activision Blizzard could mean ‘higher prices, fewer choices or less innovation for UK gamers.’

This puts the company in a tough spot. The FTC has already shown that it does not want the deal to go through, even going as far as to file a lawsuit against Microsoft. This means that two of the major regulatory authorities are now against the merger. 

However, the CMA has also provided some remedies that could help Microsoft convince the authorities. These remedies include ‘divestiture of the Call of Duty business’ and more, allowing Microsoft to complete the deal without gaining full ownership of Activision Blizzard and its IPs.

Looking at the CMA’s remedies, Microsoft’s options are very limited. The gaming giant would not want to give up the Call of Duty franchise, but splitting Activision and Blizzard is not ideal either. 

Nonetheless, the CMA’s provisional verdict is in, and Microsoft will need to decide on the next move. As it stands, the chances for the acquisition’s success are looking slimmer than ever. 

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