19 september 2022 | Trades | Regulation

UK to conduct a thorough investigation of Microsoft’s Activision deal

UK antitrust authority has launched an investigation into Microsoft's acquisition of video game giant Activision Blizzard.  The deal, as experts say, is estimated at $68.7 billion. This purchase raises concerns as a lower market competition may take place. 

The investigation reached a second stage after the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) made the following statement: the acquisition is expected to make Microsoft the third-largest video game publisher in the world, while creating risks for both console and cloud gaming markets.

As part of the deal, Microsoft would gain ownership of popular video game franchises, including Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and Candy Crush.

U.K. regulators have expressed concern that buying Activision may allow the corporation to limit the content it provides for other platforms, for instance, the Sony PlayStation.

"We stand ready to work with the CMA to resolve any arising issues," Microsoft noted in an interview with CNN. "Our goal is to give people more access to gaming solutions."

Back in February, the company began engaging with regulators around the world. One requirement is that Microsoft must not grant special privileges to its own platforms when hosting content.

Earlier, the CMA had already given the corporation time to consider the requirements. On September 6, however, Microsoft refused to provide assurances, prompting a renewed investigation into the company’s activities.

Based on precedents, the second investigation phase could lead to several scenarios: the corporation would be allowed to proceed with the deal; there is also the possibility of restrictions or divestitures on the acquisition; or the regulator would impose a ban on the deal.

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