CMA Blocks Microsoft’s Acquisition of Activision Blizzard

The Competitors and Markets Authority (CMA) blocked what would have been the biggest deal within the gaming business to this point on April 26, 2023. This determination brings consideration to numerous important traits, together with:

  • In dynamic markets, regulators are focusing in on whether or not a deal harms or may hurt future competitors (i.e., innovation primarily based on predications elevating important uncertainties). The CMA speculated that the deal would “alter the way forward for the fast-growing cloud gaming market” and most popular to keep up the established order with the block.
  • Regulators are focusing an increasing number of on non-horizontal relationships and provide chain points, significantly if one occasion is vertically built-in. Whereas up to now, issues may usually be remedied by way of behavioral commitments, an increasing number of offers with a vertical element at the moment are being outright prohibited.
  • Whereas the business expects the European Fee (Fee) to simply accept the behavioral treatment (license bundle) provided by Microsoft, this case reveals as soon as once more that the CMA and the Fee can attain completely different conclusions when reviewing the identical transaction.

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Transaction Lawyer Nils Inventory contributed to this text.