The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is wary of the idea of quickly resolving issues related to Microsoft’s proposed takeover of Activision Blizzard. Microsoft and UK regulators have been very quick to announce their intention to put their fight for Activision on hold for negotiations after Microsoft won a key lawsuit against the FTC yesterday. But now the UK regulator says Microsoft’s proposals could “lead to a new merger investigation.”
The British regulator has warned that at the moment negotiations with Microsoft are at an early stage. Although the merger participants do not have the opportunity to put forward new arguments after the release of the final report, they may decide to restructure the transaction, which may lead to a new merger investigation.
Microsoft and Activision have said they are considering changing the terms of the deal, and CMA is willing to work with them on that basis. These discussions are at an early stage and the nature and timing of the next steps will be determined in due course. While both parties have asked that Microsoft’s appeal be suspended to allow these discussions to take place, the CMA’s decision, as set out in its final report, stands.
A CNBC journalist reported that Microsoft and CMA have agreed on a “small divestment” to address cloud gaming concerns. CNBC didn’t specify what the sale might be, but it’s likely to be in the UK and could be linked to Xbox cloud gaming services in that region.