The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched a probe into Microsoft’s plans to purchase Activision Blizzard.
Microsoft made headlines in January 2022 when it announced a deal to purchase the video game company for $68.7 billion. Needless to say, a deal of that size was sure to draw regulatory scrutiny, and it certainly has. The FTC launched a review of the deal, US senators asked the FTC to investigate further, and now the CMA has launched its own probe of the deal.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is considering whether it is or may be the case that this transaction, if carried into effect, will result in the creation of a relevant merger situation under the merger provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002 and, if so, whether the creation of that situation may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services.
CEO Satya Nadella originally framed the deal in the context of Microsoft’s ongoing efforts to further metaverse development and the role games will play in that future. Like Apple, Meta, Google, and others, Microsoft is working to help develop the metaverse and ensure it is a major player moving forward.
It remains to be seen if the CMA will challenge the acquisition. The agency has previously blocked major acquisitions, including Meta’s purchase of Giphy.