The CMA’s final verdict was a huge blow to Microsoft’s $68.7 billion purchase of Activision Blizzard. Following the UK regulator’s decision to block the deal, Microsoft has filed an appeal, but the gaming giant may be considering other options.
According to a report from Mlex, Microsoft plans to complete the merger even with the CMA blocking the deal.
Why it matters: The CMA regulates a large market for Microsoft’s business. Therefore, nobody expected Microsoft to abandon the UK, but the report hints that Microsoft could consider this option in the future.
Previously, Microsoft claimed that it was ready to appeal the CMA’s decision in order to complete the acquisition. While the appeal is now in process, it may take longer to reach a conclusion than Microsoft is hoping for.
This has likely motivated the gaming giant to consider alternate options. According to the report, Microsoft may attempt to sell Activision games in the UK through a distributor. However, Microsoft would need Activision’s approval for this method.
The report also highlights that Microsoft could simply try a brute-force approach. Forcefully completing the merger would lead to Microsoft being sued by the CMA, but the gaming giant could argue that the CMA’s decision was illegal.
Alternatively, Microsoft could consider adding further remedies to address the UK market. Still, it remains to be seen if any of these possibilities would be a viable move for Microsoft in the future.
While the Activision merger has already been approved in various countries like China, Ukraine, and South Korea, the CMA remains a massive hurdle.
Microsoft also wants to become a competitor in the mobile gaming industry, and Activision Blizzard remains an important part of this plan. As such, it is clear that Microsoft intends to consider every possibility before making a decision.
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