Can Call of Duty be BANNED in the UK? Microsoft bosses meet with Jeremy Hunt this week amid row over proposed purchase of Activision Blizzard – which may prevent UK gamers from accessing popular titles
- Brad Smith and Jeremy Hunt will discuss the proposal this week
- They also discuss ‘potential of AI’ and ‘need for thoughtful regulation of it’
Microsoft bosses are meeting with Jeremy Hunt this week as Britain tries to prevent the company from buying Call of Duty’s publisher.
The tech company launched a bid to acquire the video game Activision Blizzard, but UK antitrust regulators have blocked the roughly £55bn ($69bn) purchase.
If Microsoft goes through with the purchase, gamers in the UK will not be able to purchase or download titles from the Activision catalog, including COD, World of Warcraft, Overwatch, Diablo, and Candy Crush.
Microsoft president Brad Smith has arranged a meeting with the chancellor this week to discuss the proposal, as well as the “potential of AI” and the “need for thoughtful regulation of it,” a spokesman said.
Analysts predict that the government and Microsoft will reach an agreement before “extreme measures” such as banning access to Activision games.
Microsoft bosses will meet with Jeremy Hunt (pictured in November) this week as Britain tries to stop the company from buying Call of Duty’s publisher
The tech company launched a bid to acquire video game Activision Blizzard, but UK antitrust regulators have blocked the roughly £55bn purchase. Activision has created several popular titles, including Call of Duty (pictured), World of Warcraft, Overwatch, Diablo, and Candy Crush
The all-cash Activision deal has come under scrutiny from regulators over fears it would give Microsoft and its Xbox console control over popular gaming franchises.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) – the UK’s watchdog – has expressed concern about how the deal will affect cloud gaming, which streams to tablets, phones and other devices and frees players from buying expensive consoles and gaming computers.
The CMA announced in February its decision to block the deal, which Smith said was the “darkest day” Microsoft had seen in its 40 years of operation in Britain.
Now he’s moved to have private conversations with Mr. Hunt in an apparent attempt to come to some common ground.
A Microsoft spokesperson told MailOnline on Tuesday: “Brad Smith will be in London for a scheduled talk about the potential of AI and the need for thoughtful regulation of it.
“He will also hold private conversations on other issues, including the proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard, as we remain committed to finding creative and constructive ways to address remaining regulatory concerns.”
Meanwhile, a public hearing is scheduled for late next month to appeal the CMA’s ruling. It is clear that Microsoft started working on its refutation as soon as the decision was announced.
MailOnline has approached Microsoft for comment.