Activision Blizzard Responds To CMA Blocking Microsoft Acquisition

Activision Blizzard Responds To CMA Blocking Microsoft

After news broke that the UK CMA was voting against Activision Blizzard being purchased by Microsoft, it was immediately met with pushback from the companies. Almost as soon as the news broke, Activision Blizzard responded to the CMA blocking the Microsoft acquisition with the following statement:

“The CMA’s report contradicts the ambitions of the UK to become an attractive country to build technology businesses. We will work aggressively with Microsoft to reverse this on appeal. The report’s conclusions are a disservice to UK citizens, who face increasingly dire economic prospects. We will reassess our growth plans for the UK. Global innovators large and small will take note that – despite all its rhetoric – the UK is clearly closed for business.”

In addition to Activision Blizzard’s official company statement, CEO Bobby Kotick released a more in-depth response to the decision. Kotick, while saying he is disappointed with the decision, says that the company will continue to push toward the closure of the deal. You can read his full statement below:

“Today, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), a regulatory agency in the UK, decided not to approve our merger with Microsoft. This isn’t the news we wanted – but it is far from the final word on this deal. 

Alongside Microsoft, we can and will contest this decision, and we’ve already begun the work to appeal to the UK Competition Appeals Tribunal. We’re confident in our case because the facts are on our side: this deal is good for competition. 

The UK hopes to grow its leadership position in technology, and a combined Microsoft-Activision would accomplish exactly that. At a time when the fields of machine learning and artificial intelligence are thriving, we know the UK market would benefit from Microsoft’s bench strength in both domains, as well as our ability to put those technologies to use immediately. By contrast, if the CMA’s decision holds, it would stifle investment, competition, and job creation throughout the UK gaming industry.  

This merger is a complex process, and I know I’m not the only one frustrated by the hurdles and delays. We’re accustomed to a company culture that moves quickly to accomplish big goals, so it’s tough when we can’t close things out at our usual energetic pace. We’ll keep pressing our case, because we know that this merger will benefit our employees, the broader UK tech workforce, and players around the world. 

I’m going to do everything I personally can to advocate for us and help regulators understand the competitive dynamics in our industry.  What gives me confidence is that, whether on our own or united with another company, we are one of the strongest companies in our industry, poised for continued growth, and building on our incredible IP. 

I appreciate your continued hard work and focus, and for continuing to connect and engage our players around the world. This is the best time to be in our field, and you all represent the best of our industry.  We’ll be sure to keep you updated on next steps as they happen.”

What do you make of Kotick and Activision Blizzard’s response to the CMA blocking the acquisition by Microsoft?