The huge Activision deal is in jeopardy – and Microsoft is reacting with severe criticism of the British CMA (Competition and Markets Authority). This authority had recently blocked the planned purchase.
Whether the deal will still go through is currently in the stars. And depending on how the story ends, Microsoft could well say goodbye to the UK. At least that’s what President Brad Smith is implying.
“The EU would be a better place to do business”
Smith complained to BBC about the CMA’s decision and structures in the UK that would make life difficult for technology companies like Microsoft.
It’s probably our darkest day in four decades in Britain (…). There’s a clear message here: the European Union is a more attractive place to start a business than the UK.
Also Activision boss Bobby Kotick sees a deadlock on the deal as a bad sign for British corporate culture. In February 2023 he said at the TV station CNBC:
If that deal can’t go through, they’ll never become Silicon Valley, they’ll become Death Valley.
CMA Chief Executive Sarah Cardell vehemently disagrees. She was also interviewed by the BBC about the decision and explained that on the contrary they want to protect the diversity of businesses in the UK.
I think this decision really shows how important it is to encourage competition in the UK and that the UK is absolutely open to business. We want to create an environment in which a multitude of diverse companies can compete, grow and innovate effectively.
Microsoft and Activision have both already confirmed that they intend to challenge the blocking of the CMS in court. Without the approval of the CMA, the purchase could probably not be completed at all. Of course, we’ll keep you up to date on what’s going on with one of the potentially biggest deals in the video game world!