Regulatory Opposition Mounts Over Activision For Microsoft Deal, UK's Regulatory Watchdog Objects

  • Months after the U.K.'s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched an antitrust investigation into Microsoft Corp's MSFT $68.7 billion Activision Blizzard Inc ATVI takeover, the regulator flagged concerns about cloud and console gaming.
  • The provisional findings from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) follow a wide-ranging investigation conducted over the last five months to understand the market and potential impact of the deal.
  • A CMA investigation has provisionally concluded that the deal could result in higher prices, fewer choices, or less innovation for U.K. gamers.
  • The merger could make Microsoft even stronger in cloud gaming, stifling competition in this growing market and harming U.K. gamers who cannot afford expensive consoles.
  • The deal could also harm U.K. gamers by weakening the rivalry between Xbox and Sony Group Corp SONY PlayStation gaming consoles.
  • In February, the European Commission sent a formal list of concerns to Microsoft about the takeover, marking an escalation in the regulatory body's probe of the deal.
  • The commission had concerns that Microsoft might "foreclose access to Activision Blizzard's console and PC video games, especially to high-profile and highly successful games" when it initiated the investigation last November.
  • In January, Alphabet Inc's GOOG GOOGL Google and Nvidia Corp NVDA shared concerns over the deal with the FTC, fueling regulatory worries.
  • Price Action: ATVI shares traded lower by 2.59% at $73.65 on the last check Wednesday.
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