• Mon. Oct 2nd, 2023

Microsoft could pull Activision from UK to bypass CMA block — report


Jun 5, 2023

According to a new report, Microsoft is considering a number of ways to save the Activision Blizzard deal, including potentially pulling Activision from the UK altogether.While Microsoft’s planned acquisition of Activision Blizzard has been met with numerous approvals from regulators around the world, including the European Union, its biggest roadblock came when the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority moved to block the deal in April. Microsoft’s appeal against the decision is set for July, and the company’s president Brad Smith will reportedly meet with legal representatives this week to discuss ways to counter the ruling, including, as an extreme case, pulling Activision out of the UK.Microsoft president to “voice his frustration” to UK chancellor this weekA new report from Bloomberg suggests that Brad Smith will be meeting with UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt and representatives from the Competition and Markets Authority this week, to “voice his frustration” over the CMA’s decision to block the Activision Blizzard deal. Both Hunt and Smith have voiced their disappointment with the CMA’s ruling previously, with the UK chancellor saying that the regulator must “understand their wider responsibilities” during a recent business conference. Despite Hunt’s remarks, some government ministers are said to be “unhappy” with Brad Smith’s comments that the European Union is a “more attractive place to start a business than the United Kingdom.”A Microsoft representative told Bloomberg that Smith will be in London to give a “scheduled talk about the potential of AI and the need for thoughtful regulation of it,” as well as private talks “including the proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard as we remain committed to finding creative and constructive ways to address remaining regulatory concerns.”Alongside this week’s talks, Bloomberg’s sources have said that Smith will be meeting with Microsoft’s legal representatives to draw out a strategy to counter the CMA’s ruling. In an extreme case, the company could decide to bypass the UK and go ahead with the deal, or “withdraw Activision from the UK market.”The deal has been met with widespread support from a number of other industry leaders, including most recently Take-Two’s CEO Strauss Zelnick.

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