The UK competition supervisory authority, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), has expressed concern over Microsoft ‘s acquisition of Activision Blizzard following its investigation into the $ 68.7 billion deal.
In a press release from the CMA, the regulator said it was ” concerned that Microsoft’s advance purchase of Activision Blizzard will substantially reduce competition in game consoles, multi-game subscription services and services. of cloud gaming “.
The CMA fears that if the acquisition goes through, “it could harm rivals, including recent and future game participants, by denying them access to Activision Blizzard games or by providing access on much worse terms .” The watchdog also claims to have received “evidence of the potential impact” of Activision Blizzard’s combination with the Microsoft ecosystem. ” Microsoft already has a leading gaming console (Xbox), a leading cloud platform (Azure) and the leading PC operating system (Windows OS), all of which could be important to its success in cloud gaming ,” he reads. . “”.
It therefore appears that these concerns justify “a thorough Phase 2 investigation”. Both Microsoft and Activision Blizzard have now had five business days to address CMA concerns with the deal. ” If adequate proposals are not presented, the agreement will be postponed to a Phase 2 investigation .” A phase 2 investigation will allow an independent panel of experts to further probe the risks of the transaction and assess ” whether it is more likely that there will be no substantial decrease in competition following the merger – a higher threshold than in phase 1. “.
For now, Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard has already been approved by Saudi Arabia, but other countries are still deciding.