“The CMA stands by its decision”
Today’s announcement that the European Commission has approved Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard takeover hasn’t gone unnoticed by the UK CMA, which itself blocked the takeover just a few weeks ago.
In an official statement on social media, the CMA said that it recognised and respected the verdict by the European Commission, but that it still stood by its original decision. Here’s the full statement from the regulator:
“The UK, US and European competition authorities are unanimous that this merger would harm competition in cloud gaming. The CMA concluded that cloud gaming needs to continue as a free, competitive market to drive innovation and choice in this rapidly evolving sector.
Microsoft’s proposals, accepted by the European Commission today, would allow Microsoft to set the terms and conditions for this market for the next 10 years. They would replace a free, open and competitive market with one subject to ongoing regulation of the games Microsoft sells, the platforms to which it sells them, and the conditions of sale. This is one of the reasons the CMA’s independent panel group rejected Microsoft’s proposals and prevented this deal.
While we recognise and respect that the European Commission is entitled to take a different view, the CMA stands by its decision.”
The CMA mentions in its statement that cloud gaming has been a concern for multiple regulators recently, although the European Commission has now accepted Microsoft’s remedies for the situation, with Microsoft set to “license popular Activision Blizzard games automatically to competing cloud gaming services” as a result.
Microsoft has already announced an intention to appeal the UK CMA’s decision, although that process could end up taking many months depending on how things go – and even then, there are no guarantees it’ll be successful. In other words, the finish line is at least partially in sight, but there’s no guarantee it’ll be crossed anytime soon.