Last January, Microsoft shocked the world when it announced that it wanted to buy Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion, simply because it was the biggest deal in the gaming world to date.
However, in contrast to the players’ enthusiasm for the acquisition, Sony and major regulators have raised objections, even facing intense scrutiny from regulators several times since recently, such as the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which has filed an antitrust lawsuit against the company in an attempt to block the deal, and the European Commission, which issued a warning about the deal last week.
According to the New York Times, Microsoft’s legal team believes that the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is preparing to block its acquisition of Activision Blizzard and has issued an antitrust warning about it, which is similar to what the European Commission has done.
Microsoft is said to be planning to continue its efforts to maintain the acquisition despite the CMA’s potential opposition. The source said Microsoft hopes to convince not only the U.K. but also the EU to make concessions to approve the deal. He believes that if Microsoft can convince the EU, it could force the U.K. to accept concessions as well, and then Microsoft could string these results together to convince the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to reach a deal as well.
The U.K.’s CMA is currently conducting a second phase of its investigation into the deal, which will gather more evidence about the acquisition and investigate potential changes in industry competition, and the CMA is expected to release its preliminary findings in the near future.
The CMA also expressed concerns last October about “the real prospect of significantly reduced competition in console, multi-game subscription services and cloud gaming services. The CMA also previously announced that it would extend its investigation into the $69 billion acquisition by several weeks, with its final report scheduled for release on April 26.