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Microsoft's Activision Blizzard Acquisition is Being Investigated by UK Regulators

Microsoft's Activision Blizzard Acquisition is Being Investigated by UK Regulators - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 06 July 2022 / 1,849 Views

The Competition and Markets Authority of the UK has confirmed it is investigating Microsoft's proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard, according to GamesIndustry.

"As with all merger reviews, this investigation will consider whether the deal could harm competition and lead to worse outcomes for consumers -- for example, through higher prices, lower quality, or reduced choice," said the CMA.

The CMA will complete its first phase of the investigation by September 1 as it is looking to see if the deal could hurt competition.

Microsoft's Activision Blizzard Acquisition is Being Investigated by UK Regulators

If the CMA will do a more in-depth investigation if it decides the deal is anti-competitive. It will then allow Microsoft and Activision Blizzard to propose action to address the concerns from the CMA.

Microsoft expects its acquisition of Activision Blizzard in its current fiscal year, which ends in June 2023.

Microsoft announced on January 18 of this year its plans to acquire Activision Blizzard in a deal worth $68.7 billion. IPs that will be owned by Microsoft once the deal closes include Call of Duty, Warcraft, Candy Crush, Tony Hawk, Diablo, Overwatch, Spyro, Hearthstone, Guitar Hero, Crash Bandicoot, StarCraft, and more.

A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012 and taking over the hardware estimates in 2017. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel. You can contact the author on Twitter @TrunksWD.

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Darwinianevolution (on 06 July 2022)

How can the british investigators affect the purchase? It's an american company being bought by another american company, not sure what this organism can really do...

  • +3
Libara Darwinianevolution (on 06 July 2022)

ABK have studios/offices in Europe as well.

  • +4

Well they can issue fines and they can in some cases demand a breakup of the company or else lose privileges to trade in the UK.

UK merger control is extraterritorial (just like the US's). That is, a foreign-to-foreign merger still needs permission if it creates a corporation worth 25% of a given market definition or trades more than £70m.

  • +1
CaptainExplosion (on 06 July 2022)

I thought we were done with the investigations.

  • +1

same here!

  • -1
CaptainExplosion 2zosteven (on 06 July 2022)

This latest investigation feels like a waste of time.

  • -3
Imaginedvl CaptainExplosion (on 06 July 2022)

We are, this is just normal things happening sooner or later.
The deal is going through at this point BUT there are still some political points to be gained from some organization for saying "hey look, we did our part, we 'approved'. this too".
What a waste of time and money...

  • +8
CaptainExplosion Imaginedvl (on 06 July 2022)

What a bunch of twats these politicians are. -_-

  • -1
The Fury Imaginedvl (on 06 July 2022)

The CMA just exists, it has no political standing.

  • +1
Imaginedvl The Fury (on 06 July 2022)

? It does lol Any organism has a political standpoint at the end. What is that world you are living in?

  • +2
The Fury Imaginedvl (on 06 July 2022)

Riiight. It just regulates competition, it isn't vying for votes.

  • 0
Pemalite The Fury (on 06 July 2022)

No... But it can take legal action and leverage fines.

  • -1
mjk45 Pemalite (on 08 July 2022)

And exactly how does that refute The Fury's point?

  • +1

For context on the timing, the UK Competition and Markets (CMA) authority is quite unique in that it investigates completed mergers rather than proposed mergers. ie firms can complete a merger without a mandatory notification threshold.

  • +1
DonFerrari (on 06 July 2022)

Not unexpected, but probably nothing will come out of this, at most some promise to keep content.

  • -1