UK’s CMA initiates antitrust probe of Microsoft-Activision deal
The logo for the CMA, which is investigation Microsoft and Activision Blizzard.
Provided by gov.uk

UK’s CMA initiates antitrust probe of Microsoft-Activision deal

Microsoft faces another government investigation over the acquisition

The United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced Wednesday that it has launched an investigation of Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Microsoft previously announced the nearly $69 billion deal in January.

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The goal of the CMA inquiry is to determine whether the acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft would constitute a merger under the Enterprise Act 2002. From now through July 20, the CMA will accept comments from the public regarding the planned Microsoft-Activision Blizzard deal.

If the deal is deemed a “relevant merger situation,” the CMA will recommend a Phase 2 investigation. This investigation would then determine whether the deal would cause or could be reasonably expected to cause a “substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services.”

As of now, the CMA plans to announce its decision regarding a Phase 2 investigation by Sept. 1.

More about the CMA investigation of Microsoft and Activision Blizzard

The CMA merger inquiry is not the first instance of regulatory scrutiny Microsoft has faced over the proposed Activision Blizzard acquisition.

Last month, the United States’ Federal Trade Commission launched an investigation to determine the deal’s potential impact on employees at Activision Blizzard in light of the company’s reported “frat boy” culture.

Nevertheless, Liza Tanzi, Microsoft’s corporate vice president and general counsel, said such investigations are appropriate and are to be expected. She also said Microsoft is still confident that the deal will go through as planned during the 2023 fiscal year.

“We have been clear about how we plan to run our gaming business and why we believe the deal will benefit gamers, developers, and the industry,” Tanzi said in a statement to CNN. “We’re committed to answering questions from regulators and ultimately believe a thorough review will help the deal close with broad confidence, and that it will be positive for competition.”

Author
Image of Dylan Tate
Dylan Tate
Dylan Tate is an alumnus of the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a gaming journalist with a love for Nintendo esports, particularly Super Smash Bros. and Pokémon.