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UK Regulators Sets March 2023 Deadline for Decision on Microsoft's Activision Blizzard Acquisition

UK Regulators Sets March 2023 Deadline for Decision on Microsoft's Activision Blizzard Acquisition - News

by VGChartz Staff , posted on 04 October 2022 / 3,504 Views

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in the UK has set a deadline of March 1, 2023 to publish its final report and decision on Microsoft's proposed Activision Blizzard acquisition. This is part of its more in-depth Phase 2 investigation. 

In December of this year the CMA will hold main party hearings, verify information, and consider provisional findings. It is also the deadline for all parties' responses and submissions before the provisional findings. 

The UK regulators in January 2023 will notify provisional findings and possible remedies if required. it will also hold response hearings. February 2023 will be the final deadline for all parties' responses and submissions.

UK Regulators Sets March 2023 Deadline for Decision on Microsoft's Activision Blizzard Acquisition

The CMA has previously expressed concerns as the acquisition would give Microsoft control over some of the most popular games in the industry like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft

"Following our Phase 1 investigation, we are concerned that Microsoft could use its control over popular games like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft post-merger to harm rivals, including recent and future rivals in multi-game subscription services and cloud gaming," said the senior director of mergers at the CMA Sorcha O’Carroll at the time.


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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29 Comments
EpicRandy (on 04 October 2022)

This is so stupid that the decision is being dragged just because of IPs. IPs that could very well be sold separately without giving regulators a say in the transactions at all. The way I understand it nobody in the industry is remotely thinking that Xbox will have a dominant position due to their size/number of studios after the acquisition is completed. So Microsoft take note, in futures buy the big IPs first then only after that buy the entity that was holding it.

  • +6
rapsuperstar31 EpicRandy (on 04 October 2022)

Call of Duty sells close to 20 million copies per each entry on Playstation system and Xbox only gets about 30% of the console COD sales. If a good chunk of those ditch Playstation and buy an Xbox that's a pretty massive shift. Very few companies are going to just sell you the IPS and gut the rest.

  • 0
EpicRandy rapsuperstar31 (on 04 October 2022)

You missed the point. Microsoft could have dealt with Activations in 2 transactions, lets says $40B for CoD/diablo/warcraft etc.. IPs and $30B for all the studios. The first transaction would have closed immediately without the possibility for regulators to have a say as it is a standard B2B transaction, the second, even if looked upon by regulator would not have included the only thing being scrutinized right now.
In another world Activision could also have sold all their Ips to Sony for let say $50B creating a juggernaut like the industry never saw before and the regulators would not even have a say in this.

  • 0
VAMatt rapsuperstar31 (on 04 October 2022)

Who cares? Why is it the job of government to protect Sony from competition? It's the dumbest f-ing concept ever.

  • +3
KratosLives VAMatt (on 05 October 2022)

They're protecting fans and the freedom of choice of where they want to play their multiplat of game, as they have been doing the last 10 years

  • -2
VAMatt KratosLives (on 05 October 2022)

Protecting people from maybe not having access to a video game on their chosen plastic box several years from now?

  • +2
KratosLives VAMatt (on 06 October 2022)

It's been an established multiplat for years and people have gotten used to the playstation ecosystem. Imagine if walmart only had the rights to sell coke what would happen.

  • 0
Dallinor VAMatt (on 06 October 2022)

Yes exactly. Protecting consumers.

  • 0
rapsuperstar31 VAMatt (on 05 October 2022)

The government is trying to stop monopolies form happening. They fail miserably with companies like Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and multiple private equities that buy up every mom and pop stores giving them way too much. Do you want a few companies owning everything? If it was Google buying Activision and putting it exclusively on Stadia or Nintenod buying it and keeping it there would you be happy?

  • +1
EpicRandy rapsuperstar31 (on 05 October 2022)

"If it was Google buying Activision and putting it exclusively on Stadia or Nintendo buying it and keeping it there would you be happy?"
Would it make competition harder for every other actor (like almost impossible to compete or for competition to even exist)? Would it prevent other studio from aquiring/forming talent? Would it prevent other studio from buiding/marketing/expanding there own IPs. Would it give the buying parties control over consumer choice. Your/my happiness upon the situation as no value as long as the above situation doesn't happen.

  • 0
VAMatt rapsuperstar31 (on 05 October 2022)

I don't think I'd care at all. But, even if I did care, what difference does that make? My happiness is on me. I don't need governments around the world to protect my access to video games on my chosen device.

  • +1
Hynad VAMatt (on 05 October 2022)

What do you think they protect, exactly?

  • 0
VAMatt Hynad (on 05 October 2022)

They're supposed to protect rights. But they mostly protect moneyed interests.

  • +1
VAMatt (on 04 October 2022)

It's a ridiculously long time. I wish there was a way to hold governments accountable that actually worked. That kind of foot dragging is inexcusable. Frankly, I don't think government should be involved in deciding what companies other companies can buy in the first place. But, if they're going to do it, they need to move things along.

  • +4
Hynad VAMatt (on 04 October 2022)

Nothing inexcusable, especially considering the size of such an acquisition.
You’re reasoning like a gamer who have no idea why such procedures are required and important and why such behemoth acquisitions need to go through such scrutiny and careful consideration. You act impatient and self-entitled like so many gamers out there.

It’s normal procedure, and you can be sure there’s a lot of things for them to consider. Keep in mind this is entertainment’s second biggest acquisition in history.

  • 0
VAMatt Hynad (on 04 October 2022)

As you said in your comment, it's the entertainment business. Government doesn't have any legitimate reason for being involved. It's a video game company. Think about that for a minute. Video games. The government of the UK, and a bunch of other governments around the world, are spending resources, and causing the companies involved to spend resources, to decide whether somebody can buy a video game company. It is a prime example of ridiculous government overreach.

Personally, I couldn't care less whether the acquisition happens. I expect it will make a zero difference in my life, as I can't even think of the last Activision game I played. I just think it is a very sad commentary on the state of the world that governments are involving themselves in the video game industry to this extent. It is totally fucking ridiculous.

  • +2
Hynad VAMatt (on 04 October 2022)

Video games are the products. Registrations in place aren’t for the products but for the entities themselves. They’re there for good reasons. Go read about the Sherman Antitrust Act and educate yourself on the possible ramifications.

  • +1
VAMatt Hynad (on 05 October 2022)

If you want government to dictate every aspect of your life, I guess you would want them to decide who can own Call of Duty. But for most humans, who want to be able to make their own decisions, this whole thing is nonsense.

  • 0
Hynad VAMatt (on 05 October 2022)

Not surprised you are incapable of grasping it all.

  • 0
VAMatt Hynad (on 05 October 2022)

I definitely grasp it. The thing is, I like freedom. I don't want government telling me or anyone else what companies we can buy, especially in totally unimportant industries like entertainment.

  • 0
Hynad VAMatt (on 05 October 2022)

You clearly don’t. You seemingly lack foresight and have no understanding of what would happen if these things weren’t legislated and regulated.

Hint: customers get the short stick.

  • -1
VAMatt Hynad (on 05 October 2022)

Regulating what? Disallowing a single company to own maybe 1% of the entertainment market?

  • 0
Random_Matt (on 04 October 2022)

They don't like it, kinda obvious.

  • +4
Imaginedvl (on 04 October 2022)

This is good, dates are aligned with the initial plan (June 2023). Let's see when the FTC will provide those dates now :)

  • +3
Qwark Imaginedvl (on 05 October 2022)

They didn't like the ARM deal either

  • -1
Imaginedvl Qwark (on 05 October 2022)

FTC, CMA, etc... do not like a lot of deals (that are going through any way or not); I'm not sure this has anything to do with what I said about the dates? It is about the progress of the process.

They gave a final date for a decision; which was the next step for them (after phase 1) and this is good; no matter if they like the deal or not.

  • +1
tslog (on 04 October 2022)

disgusting. Wouldn't be surprised if the Australian Gov will put their decision back too because they're too cowardly to take a lead on a big & ultimately easy decision to approve this deal.
Both countries waiting for what the US regulators will decide ? Both are bootlickers. And Pony bots

  • -1
Hynad tslog (on 05 October 2022)

With such a comment, we could talk about whose boots you lick…

  • -2
Ayla (on 04 October 2022)

This is getting stupid. Some of these so called regulators need to be fired.

  • -1