What you need to know
- Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard King will cost the company $68.7 billion, a record deal for the gaming industry.
- The deal has been approved by most regulators, including Brazil, China, and the European Union.
- The UK's CMA ruled against the acquisition on the grounds of protecting the nascent cloud gaming market.
- Microsoft has appealed the decision and continued to expand its partnerships with cloud gaming providers in an attempt to appease the regulator.
Microsoft has confirmed that it has appealed to the UK's Competition Appeals Tribunal, seeking to overturn the CMA's decision against the Activision Blizzard King acquisition, according to a tweet from Bloomberg reporter Katharine Gemmel.
A spokesperson for Microsoft has confirmed the company has formally lodged its appeal against the UK antitrust watchdog's decision to block its $69bn deal with Activision Blizzard. In Terminal.May 24, 2023
Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard King has faced intense scrutiny from the UK regulator, which first voiced concern about the Call of Duty franchise before pivoting its merger objections towards Xbox's dominance in the cloud gaming market. Microsoft had attempted to allay these cloud gaming concerns by striking deals with a host of other cloud gaming platforms to bring Xbox titles to their services, including Activision Blizzard King titles that would otherwise not make it to cloud markets. However, the CMA was not swayed by these efforts and ultimately revoked the acquisition in its ruling.
The CMA was the only regulator that ruled against Microsoft and Activision Blizzard King. The European Union approved the acquisition, saying Microsoft's solutions to its cloud market concerns were sufficient to allow the deal to proceed. The CMA reacted by stating that the EU was wrong to approve the merger. In the US, the FTC filed a lawsuit against the acquisition but chose not to seek a preliminary injunction that would actually prevent the merger from closing.
The CMA's decision against the ABK deal has become a political flashpoint for the UK, but Microsoft has remained committed to fighting to close the acquisition in its favor and add Activision Blizzard's broad portfolio to its proprietary list of top Xbox games.
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