Game Over

Game Over

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  • The largest acquisition in the gaming industry's history, Microsoft's $69 billion purchase of Activision Blizzard, has been blocked by the antitrust regulator in Britain. The Competition and Markets Authority stated on Wednesday that remedies such as selling the popular game Call of Duty or promising to allow competitors to offer the game on their platforms were insufficient to address their concerns. Microsoft plans to appeal the decision. This setback could have significant consequences for the gaming industry.

  • Microsoft has been facing increasing pressure as it advocates both in the US and Europe to persuade regulatory bodies to approve the deal, which is among the 30 largest acquisitions ever made. The CMA's findings are significant because they were released before rulings from the US Federal Trade Commission and the European Union, who are still waiting for a hearing in the summer after formally opposing the transaction.

Why it matters

The CMA's initial concern about the merger was that it could lead to increased prices, reduced options, and limited innovation for UK gamers. However, after considering new evidence, the focus was narrowed to cloud gaming rather than consoles. Microsoft had been using press conferences and advertisements to sway opinion on the deal, as they battled regulatory scrutiny in the UK and Europe. The regulator has been trying to establish itself as a strong global regulator since the country's departure from the EU, and has recently demonstrated its power by taking on Big Tech. 


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