The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has defended its decision to block Microsoft’s proposed merger with Activision Blizzard, following the European Commission’s approval of the deal.
The CMA tweeted shortly after the European Commission’s decision and said “Competition authorities in the UK, US and Europe are unanimous that this merger will harm competition in cloud gaming. The CMA concluded that cloud gaming must continue as a free and competitive market to drive innovation and choice in this sector.” Development”.
Earlier this month, the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) revealed that it would block a $69 billion merger in the UK, with one of its main concerns being the long-term impact of the deal on the future of cloud gaming.
The European Commission approved the deal thanks to solutions provided by Microsoft, and as stated in a statement from Microsoft Vice President and President Brad Smith, these solutions will require Microsoft to automatically license Activision Blizzard’s popular games to competing cloud gaming services. In other words, Xbox will not be allowed to keep titles like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft as exclusives to Game Pass Ultimate and Xbox Cloud Gaming services, at least for the next 10 years.
However, Microsoft’s solutions seem to have done nothing to change the CMA’s anti-merger stance.
The CMA’s statement continued: “Microsoft’s proposals, accepted by the European Commission today, will allow the company to set the terms and conditions for this market over the next 10 years. They will replace a free, open, and competitive marketplace with one that is continuously regulated for the games Microsoft sells, the platforms you sell to Microsoft, and the terms of sale.” imposed by it.”
The UK regulator concluded that it “stands by its decision”, while acknowledging that the European Commission “is entitled to take a different view”.
On the other hand, Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision, commented in the wake of the European Commission’s decision: “We intend to expand our investments and our workforce meaningfully throughout the European Union, and we are excited about the benefits that our transactions bring to players in Europe and around the world. The majority of players in the world They play on mobile phones. Europe has played a pivotal role in game development, especially mobile games, and we expect European game developers to continue to drive growth and innovation.”
Microsoft plans to appeal the CMA’s decision to the UK’s Competition Court of Appeal to determine whether the authority acted “within its proper discretion in reaching its final decision,” and legal experts warn it’s not uncommon for CMA decisions to be overturned. , but it is also not enforceable.