UK CMA Says Microsoft-Activision Deal Will ‘Not Result in a Substantial Lessening of Competition’
The UK CMA has issued an update on its provisional findings in its assessment of Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Although the update is provisional, the UK CMA has said that “the CMA inquiry group has updated its provisional findings and reached the provisional conclusion that, overall, the transaction will not result in a substantial lessening of competition in relation to console gaming in the UK. To many, this will be deemed a major step closer towards closing the proposed acquisition.
The UK CMA will report its final report on April 26, 2023.
Martin Coleman, chair of the independent panel of experts conducting this investigation, said:
Provisional findings are a key aspect of the merger process and are explicitly designed to give the businesses involved, and any interested third parties, the chance to respond with new evidence before we make a final decision.
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.
Our provisional view that this deal raises concerns in the cloud gaming market is not affected by today’s announcement. Our investigation remains on course for completion by the end of April.