What you need to know
- Microsoft is currently in the process of acquiring Activision Blizzard for almost $69 billion.
- The deal is facing regulatory scrutiny around the world, particularly from the CMA in the U.K, the FTC in the U.S, and the European Commission.
- The CMA previously indicated in its provisional findings that Microsoft could make Call of Duty exclusive, causing competition concerns with Sony’s PlayStation.
- The CMA updated its provisional findings to note that this is no longer a concern.
The saga of Microsoft’s biggest acquisition ever may finally be beginning to wind down, with a major update from one of the big regulators.
The CMA in the U.K. shared (opens in new tab) on Friday that it is updating its provisional findings, as there is no longer a cause for concern that Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard could cause competition concerns in gaming consoles.
“The CMA has received a significant amount of new evidence in response to its original provisional findings,” the CMA explains. “Having considered this new evidence carefully, together with the wide range of information gathered before those provisional findings were issued, the CMA inquiry group has updated its provisional findings and reached the provisional conclusion that, overall, the transaction will not result in a substantial lessening of competition in relation to console gaming in the UK.”
The CMA goes on to add that evidence is against Microsoft pulling Call of Duty from PlayStation after completing this acquisition. The CMA’s concerns with Cloud gaming remain, and a full report and decision is due by April 26, 2023. Microsoft has been on a deal-making blitz the last couple of months, signing agreements for Cloud gaming with companies like Ubitus, Boosteroid, and NVIDIA, while agreeing to bring Call of Duty to Nintendo in the future.
Windows Central’s take
I’m no legal expert, but I’m pretty sure that means this deal is going through. The CMA’s concern over what would happen with Sony and PlayStation was by far the biggest roadblock Microsoft faced in closing this acquisition. By contrast, the FTC will be a speedbump, if it takes a long time to clear.
It’s been a long, fun journey covering all of this, but it seems like it’s finally starting to come to an end.