Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has voiced his disappointment following the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) decision to block Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of the company. Kotick insists that the deal is far from dead, as both Activision Blizzard and Microsoft plan to appeal the decision.
The CMA report, published on Wednesday, cited concerns that the merger would “alter the future of the fast-growing cloud gaming market, leading to reduced innovation and less choice for UK gamers over the years to come.” In response, Kotick stated that the company is already working on an appeal and remains confident in their case, as they believe “the facts are on our side.”
Kotick emphasized the benefits of the merger to the UK’s tech market, arguing that it would bolster the country’s position in technology, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. He expressed concern that if the CMA’s decision stands, it could stifle investment, competition, and job creation within the UK gaming industry.
In an internal email and public statement, Kotick acknowledged the frustration surrounding the complexity of the merger process but reiterated his commitment to advocating for the deal. He expressed confidence in Activision Blizzard’s strength and growth potential as an independent company united with Microsoft.
The CMA’s decision comes as a surprise, considering its recent provisional findings suggesting the merger would not substantially lower competition in the UK’s console gaming market. However, the unresolved concerns surrounding competition in the cloud gaming sector ultimately led to the rejection.