A surprise decision in April by the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority to block Microsoft’s planned $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard put some extreme (some might say desperate) pressure on Microsoft to press ahead with the purchase. May cause actions to be taken.
Oh A new Bloomberg reportMicrosoft president Brad Smith is heading to London next week, claims an unnamed source. Part of his trip will be to discuss Microsoft’s options with the legal team representing the company in its appeal with the CMA. Bloomberg says:
An extreme option could be to ignore the UK order and go ahead with the deal, or withdraw Activision from the UK market, one of the people said, confirming earlier reports by regulatory news organization Mlex. while doing
The article added that Smith will reportedly meet with CMA members next week, along with UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt. Hunt criticized the CMA’s decision, saying regulatory groups “must understand their wider responsibilities”.
In April, the UK CMA decided not to approve Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard. The CMA said at the time that Microsoft’s current position as the largest cloud gaming provider would give it a competitive advantage if it could gain access to Activision Blizzard’s games and make them exclusive to Microsoft’s cloud service.
However, just a few weeks later, the European Union decided to approve the purchase. It felt that Microsoft’s treatments, which included offering its own and Activision Blizzard’s games for competing cloud gaming services for at least 10 years, were enough to push through the acquisition.
Microsoft has filed a formal appeal against the CMA’s decision. At a case management conference earlier this week, the judge appointed to hear the case for the UK Competition Appeals Tribunal set a tentative date of July 24 to start hearing the appeal.