Microsoft’s Acquisition of Activision Blizzard Clears a Major Hurdle as UK CMA Updates Provisional Findings

Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard has taken a significant step towards completion as the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) updated its provisional findings, concluding that the deal is unlikely to substantially lessen competition in the console gaming market in the UK.

The CMA’s investigation into the acquisition initially raised concerns regarding competition in the UK’s console gaming and cloud gaming services. However, the updated provisional findings now state that the purchase will not negatively impact the console gaming market. The CMA reached this conclusion after considering new evidence related to Microsoft’s financial incentives to make Activision’s games, such as Call of Duty, exclusive to its consoles.

According to the updated analysis, it would not be commercially beneficial for Microsoft to make Call of Duty exclusive to Xbox, as the cost of withholding the game from PlayStation would outweigh any gains. As a result, Microsoft is expected to continue making the game available on PlayStation.

Martin Coleman, chair of the independent panel of experts conducting the investigation, emphasized the importance of provisional findings in the merger process, allowing businesses and third parties to provide new evidence before making the final decision. He also stated that the CMA’s concerns regarding the cloud gaming market remain unaffected by the updated findings, and the investigation is due to be completed by April 26, 2023.

This development is a crucial step for Microsoft as it aims to finalize its acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The deal, which the gaming industry and regulators have closely watched, could potentially reshape the gaming landscape and increase Microsoft’s influence in the sector. However, the CMA’s final decision on the matter, particularly concerning the cloud gaming market, will determine the ultimate fate of the proposed acquisition.

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Amie Gammons

A huge fan of puzzlers. Would love to experience the world and takedown on every single and upcoming game title. In the free time love to sing, follow recent game rumors and try to decrypt them in the best possible way.

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