CMA Warns Microsft’s Activision Acquisition Could Lead to a ‘New Merger Investigation’

Microsoft Responds To Day One Of The FTC Trial Appeal
Microsoft logo is seen on a smartphone placed on displayed Activision Blizzard logo in this illustration taken January 18, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

Following yesterday’s successful win for Microsoft against the FTC, the company could be facing a new challenge with the UK CMA.

In a statement to The Verge, the CMA said, “Whilst merging parties don’t have the opportunity to put forward new remedies once a final report has been issued, they can choose to restructure a deal, which can lead to a new merger investigation. Microsoft and Activision have indicated that they are considering how the transaction might be modified, and the CMA is prepared to engage with them on this basis. These discussions remain at an early stage and the nature and timing of next steps will be determined in due course. While both parties have requested a pause in Microsoft’s appeal to allow these discussions to take place, the CMA decision set out in its final report still stands.”

The UK CMA originally blocked the deal on concerns regarding the cloud, but according to CNBC, Microsoft has been working towards addressing those concerns.

“After today’s court decision in the U.S., our focus now turns back to the UK. While we ultimately disagree with the CMA’s concerns, we are considering how the transaction might be modified in order to address those concerns in a way that is acceptable to the CMA,” Smith said in a statement. “In order to prioritize work on these proposals, Microsoft and Activision have agreed with the CMA that a stay of the litigation in the UK would be in the public interest and the parties have made a joint submission to the Competition Appeal Tribunal to this effect.”

In addition to the CMA, the FTC has 48 hours from the Judge’s rule to appeal the case, which according to Bloomberg is exactly what the trade comission is considering.

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