Microsoft-Activision $69 Billion Deal in British Crosshairs

Microsoft Corp.’s planned $69 billion purchase of computer game developer Activision Blizzard Inc. is facing an in-depth investigation in the UK after regulators said the deal could hamper competition.

Microsoft Corp.’s planned $69 billion purchase of computer game developer Activision Blizzard Inc. is facing an in-depth investigation in the UK after regulators said the deal could hamper competition.

The Competition and Markets Authority said it decided to launch a longer review after Microsoft turned down an opportunity to offer solutions to allay its concerns.

“Microsoft informed the CMA that it would not offer such commitments,” the regulator said in its decision.

The move was expected after the CMA previously signaled that the deal could significantly reduce competition in the gaming console, subscription and cloud markets. The regulator now has until 1 March to make a final decision.

Microsoft was not expected to provide solutions after the initial findings. The CMA usually only accepts one-off measures at this stage to restore the market, rather than agreements about future behavior that are more common in phase two.

Microsoft shares fell 1.7% in New York trading at 1:21 p.m.

Microsoft Activision Deal Faces Deep UK Antitrust Investigations

The combination with Activision — which owns some of the most popular franchises, including Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and Guitar Hero — will make Microsoft the world’s third-largest gaming company and increase the number of Xbox maker’s titles. Boosting Game Pass Subscribers .

“We are ready to work with the CMA on the next steps and address any concerns,” said Brad Smith, Microsoft’s president and vice chairman, in a Sept.

The CMA joins other global regulators, including the US Federal Trade Commission, in investigating the deal. The European Commission currently has a lot of interest, although Microsoft has not yet filed a formal case in Brussels.

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