Microsoft’s $69 billion Activision meets a competition investigation

Microsoft's $69 billion Activision meets a competition investigation in the U.K

July 7, 2022: -On Wednesday, the U.K.’s competition watchdog opened an inquiry into Microsoft’s planned acquisition of video game publisher Activision Blizzard.

In February, it marks one of the first probes by a central antitrust enforcer into the $68.7 billion deal, which was announced.

In a statement, the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority said its investigation would “consider whether the deal could harm competition and lead to worse outcomes for customers, for example, through higher prices, lower quality, or reduced choice.”

The CMA has set a September starting deadline for its initial decision. The regulator wants feedback from prying third parties, with a consultation until July 20.

The planned acquisition has huge implications for the $190 billion video game industry, handing them control of incredibly lucrative franchises including Call of Duty, Candy Crush, and Warcraft to one of the world’s biggest tech companies.

Microsoft hopes the purchase intention helps it in the race to build the so-called metaverse, a theoretical web of large virtual worlds. Various other companies are vying for a role in the space, including Facebook parent company Meta and Sony.

However, analysts are skeptical regarding regulators’ chances of a deal being approved.

Microsoft is one of the giant games console manufacturers alongside Sony and Nintendo. The group is posing on a growing hoard of first-party content, including popular game series such as The Elder Scrolls and Doom, which it acquired after buying Bethesda-owner Zenimax for $7.5 billion.

Meanwhile, Activision has lived plagued by numerous internal problems in the previous year, including accusations of sexual harassment, unionization efforts, and walkouts from staff.

Employees at the company stand deeply sick with the management and have called on CEO Bobby Kotick to resign. Microsoft said Kotick will stay as CEO of Activision until after the deal closes.

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Microsoft’s $69 billion Activision meets a competition investigation