UK watchdog wants deeper investigation into Microsoft’s $69 billion Activision deal

UK watchdog wants deeper investigation into Microsoft’s  billion Activision deal

Written by Amna Karimi and Radhika Anilkumar

(Reuters) – Britain’s antitrust watchdog said Thursday it will launch an in-depth investigation into Microsoft’s $69 billion purchase of “Call of Duty” Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:) after the failure of Giant technology. To offer treatments to allay competition fears.

The deal, announced in January, will require approval in the United States as well as other major jurisdictions including the European Union and China.

The British Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said earlier this month that the acquisition of the video game publisher company could hurt competition in game consoles, subscription services and cloud games if Microsoft refuses to give competitors access to best-selling Activision games.

The regulator had given companies until September 8 to submit proposals to address the CMA’s concerns.

On Thursday, the CMA added that Microsoft had notified the regulator that it would not make any commitments.

A person familiar with the matter said that Microsoft did not offer any compensation during the initial investigation because the CMA usually favors large concessions in the first stage.

On the other hand, Microsoft reiterated its statement from early September saying that it is ready to work with the CMA on the next steps and address any of its concerns.

Activision did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Reuters previously reported that Microsoft will pay $3 billion in breakup fees if the deal fails, according to a source familiar with the matter, indicating that the company is confident of winning antitrust approval.

Microsoft competitor spokesperson Sony (NYSE: Interactive Entertainment) welcomed the move by the CMA.

“We welcome today’s announcement by the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) that it has opened a full-scale investigation into Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision.

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“By giving Microsoft control of Activision games like Call of Duty, this deal will have significant negative implications for gamers and the future of the game industry. We want to ensure that PlayStation players continue to enjoy a high-quality gaming experience, and we appreciate CMA’s focus on protecting players.”

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