If you look at the official BBC News website in the UK right now, the top story relates to the UK CMA’s decision to block Microsoft’s takeover of Activision Blizzard, focusing on some comments made by Microsoft President Brad Smith.
Speaking to the BBC, Smith didn’t hold back with his thoughts, calling it “probably the darkest day in our four decades in Britain”, and stating that he felt it would “discourage innovation and investment in the United Kingdom”.
“The strong message the CMA has sent is not just to surprise everyone who fully expected this acquisition to be approved, but to send a message that I think will discourage innovation and investment in the United Kingdom.”
“This decision, I have to say, is probably the darkest day in our four decades in Britain. It does more to shake our confidence in the future of the opportunity to grow a technology business in Britain, than we’ve ever confronted before.”
In response, CMA executive Sarah Cardell told the BBC that she didn’t agree with Smith’s comments, claiming that the decision “shows how important it is to support competition in the UK and that the UK is absolutely open for business”.
There’s a lot of disagreement flying around, then, and ultimately the CMA has had the final word for now, although Microsoft has already announced an intention to appeal the decision, so this story still seems like it’s far from over.