The UK antitrust regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), reportedly said that Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard will not harm competition in the console market. Apparently, the decision removes a major obstacle to approval of the deal.
The UK CMA said that Microsoft’s exclusive launch of Call of Duty on its Xbox console makes no sense from a financial perspective. Instead, Microsoft has enough incentive to continue offering the game on Sony’s PlayStation console.
The CMA had previously stated that Activision Blizzard’s flagship game Call of Duty was important in driving competition among consoles, and was therefore concerned that Microsoft was undercutting competition in the market by making the game available exclusively on its own Xbox console. To address these concerns, Microsoft later offered Call of Duty licenses to a number of companies, including Sony.
The CMA also said the final assessment is expected to be completed by the April 26 deadline.
In response to the CMA’s decision, a Microsoft spokeswoman said, “We look forward to working with the CMA to resolve any outstanding issues.”
Last January, Microsoft announced its $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard. When the deal closes, Microsoft will be the third-highest revenue gaming company in the world, behind only Tencent and Sony. Subsequently, several regulators around the world launched investigations into the deal.