Phil Spencer Addresses CMA Blocking Activision Deal
On April 26, the CMA announced that it would block Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard. It was news that was immediately met with disappointment from both Microsoft and Activision Blizzard. Now, just over a week later Xbox boss Phil Spencer addressed the CMA blocking the Activision deal in an interview on the Kinda Funny Xcast podcast.
“We remain confident,” Spencer said on moving forward. “Obviously the news from the CMA…we’ll be appealing that. That’s our plan. We continue to work with the European Union; We’ll continue to work with the FTC.”
Spencer said that the company has been working on gaining approval from every regulatory committee since the deal was first announced back in January 2022. He says that although the company has gotten approval from a number of jurisdictions — nine by his count– there is still work to be done. However, the reasoning behind the CMA’s denial of the purchase doesn’t make sense to him.
“The CMA decision was disappointing,” he said. “[We’ve] been talking to that group for coming up on a year. They’ve defined a market of cloud gaming that, in my mind, doesn’t really exist yet today. But they have a point of view that maybe we have a lead in a market that’s just forming and that this content can somehow prohibit others from competing in that market.”
How Will Xbox Move Forward?
Despite the roadblocks, Spencer says that Microsoft is committed to pushing forward to close the deal and bring Activision Blizzard into the organization.
“We’ll appeal; we’ll stay on it,” he said. “The company remains very, very committed. Activision Blizzard King is not our strategy, but it is an accelerant for our strategy. We’re still heads down and working through regulatory.”
In addition to the appeal of the CMA decision, Microsoft is still making its case to the FTC in the United States regarding the attempted purchase.