Microsoft president Brad Smith now says the CMA, or Competition and Markets Authority, was “tough and fair” regarding the UK regulation process.
The statement was first reported by The Verge, and originally appeared in an interview on a BBC Today show from January 1st.
Although Smith calls the CMA fair, Smith goes on to say that they “wouldn’t step back necessarily from all of the concerns [they] raised”.
Instead, they would simply “choose slightly different words”. So, the softer new statement doesn’t seem like a retraction of previous statements.
It is certainly a timely move that Brad Smith is willing to rethink their views on the CMA a bit. Microsoft is now in the right position to do so.
After all, the UK CMA provisionally approved Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard deal in September 2023.
However, in the BBC Today interview, Smith adds that the “CMA vindicated its position, but still created a pragmatic path forward”. Smith also believes this will be “good for everyone”.
At one point, the tension surrounding this deal was high enough that rumors were going around about Microsoft withdrawing Activision from the UK market altogether.
The Activision Blizzard purchase has been very divisive, given its major potential impact on the industry overall.
The recent Insomniac Games hack has revealed further details about Sony. As a result, the relationship between Microsoft and Sony is clearer, regarding the threat Microsoft could pose.
Sony is reportedly planning more layoffs, even at Insomniac Games.
Meanwhile, Microsoft is undergoing many of its own changes. Activision CEO Bobby Kotick officially left on December 29th, 2023.
Some fans are hoping that things might improve following Kotick’s departure, given their divisive leadership.
For more on the latest gaming industry news, you can read about Valve sunsetting its support for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.