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UK CMA Gives Microsoft Good News On Activision Blizzard Acquisition


  • The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said that Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard would not substantially lessen competition in the console gaming services.
  • However, the regulator is still examining how the acquisition would impact the cloud gaming industry and plans to release its decision by the end of April.
  • Meanwhile, Xbox CEO Phil Spencer assured Sony that the company has no plans to force its game pass subscription service on gamers, allaying fears that Microsoft would raise prices or degrade the PlayStation version of Call of Duty.


Microsoft has received good news from the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) regarding its acquisition of Activision Blizzard.


In a statement, the regulator said that it does not believe that the deal would impact the gaming industry by lessening competition. It added that Microsoft stands to lose more it it does withhold Call of Duty from PlayStation as Sony fears.


“Having considered the additional evidence provided, we have now provisionally concluded that the merger will not result in a substantial lessening of competition in console gaming services because the cost to Microsoft of withholding Call of Duty from PlayStation would outweigh any gains from taking such action,” Martin Coleman said on behalf of the CMA’s investigation team.


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However, this does not mean a green light for the deal to go ahead from the UK regulator. It is still looking into how the acquisition would affect the cloud gaming industry and Microsoft should expect news on this by the end of April.


The investigation included an embarrassing moment for the CMA after Microsoft publicly criticised its wrong calculation that initially showed that the computer company would gain from preventing PlayStation gamers from playing CoD. The regulator says that it has now modified its model where appropriate.


Microsoft is undoubtedly thrilled with the slow but clear progress in the case. It used the opportunity to reiterate that the goal was to provide the first-person shooter video game franchise to more players.


Meanwhile, Sony’s concern about the possibility of Xbox raising the price of Call of Duty to encourage users embrace its game pass subscription service or even degrading its PlayStation version has not been addressed yet. However, Xbox CEO Phil Spencer has said that Sony has nothing to fear as it does not plan to force its subscription service on gamers. “There’s nothing hidden,” he said.


If Microsoft and Sony are able to sign the 10-year license deal for the video game, many believe that the acquisition deal would sale through without hurdles.


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Onwuasoanya Obinna

A reader of books and stringer of words. Passionate about Science and Tech. When not writing or reading he is surfing the web and Tweeting.