CMA Probe Says Microsoft's Acquisition Of Activision Could Hurt UK Gamers

The UK’s Competition Markets Authority or CMA said in a provisional report on Wednesday that Microsoft Corporation’s (MSFT) proposed acquisition of video game company Activision Blizzard, Inc. (ATVI) could result in higher prices, fewer choices, or less innovation for the gamers in the UK.

The CMA is expecting the responses and possible remedies from interested parties by March 1, to address the concerns. The regulator will release its final report, which is due by April 26.

A five-month long investigation into the proposed acquisition found that Microsoft could find the acquisition commercially beneficial to make Activision’s games exclusive to its own cloud gaming service.

Microsoft already accounts for an estimated 60 percent to 70 percent of global cloud gaming services and also has other important strengths in cloud gaming, which ultimately reduces the competition that the American IT giant would otherwise face in the British cloud gaming market.

The regulator provisionally found that the acquisition that could change the flow of gaming market, potentially harming the gamers in the UK.

The probe is being conducted alongside similar investigations in the U.S. and EU, as well as a number of other international jurisdictions.

Earlier, Microsoft had entered into a $68.7 billion deal to buy video games company- Activision, in January 2022.

“The transaction is the largest video game acquisition in history, as well as being the largest acquisition that Microsoft has ever made,” the CMA noted.

In 2022, the UK game users had spent around 5 billion pounds.

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