UK drops console concern over Microsoft-Activision deal

FILE PHOTO: Microsoft logo is seen on a smartphone placed on displayed Activision Blizzard's games characters in this illustration taken January 18, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

LONDON (Reuters) -Britain's competition regulator said Microsoft's 69-billion purchase of "Call of Duty" maker Activision Blizzard would not harm competition in gaming consoles, removing a major obstacle to the deal.

In findings based on new evidence, the Competition and Markets Authority said on Friday that it would not make financial sense for Microsoft to make "Call of Duty" exclusive to its Xbox console, and it would instead still have the incentive to continue to make the game available on PlayStation.

The regulator, however, said it was still looking at the impact of the deal on the cloud gaming market.

The takeover, the biggest ever in gaming, remains subject to the scrutiny of regulators in the United States and Europe.

The CMA had noted Activision's flagship "Call of Duty" franchise was important in driving competition between consoles, and it worried that Microsoft could benefit by making the game exclusive to Xbox, or only available on PlayStation under materially worse conditions.

But Microsoft has since offered Sony a licence deal to address those concerns.

"Our provisional view that this deal raises concerns in the cloud gaming market is not affected by today's announcement," the CMA said, adding that its overall investigation was on course for completion by its April 26 deadline.

A Microsoft spokesperson said: "We look forward to working with the CMA to resolve any outstanding concerns."

(Reporting by Sarah Young and Paul Sandle; editing by William James)

Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!


Next In Tech News

Nvidia rally: Retail investors stay out on growing slowdown worries
Nubank to hike Colombia investments by $160 million by 2025
Ford CEO says EV cost parity may not come until after 2030
EU's Vestager sees draft code of conduct on AI within weeks
German family-owned Schmid Group aims for SPAC listing on NYSE
HP Enterprise shares fall as dull forecast fuels fears of slowing demand
AI boom triples valuation of Lightmatter, US startup using light for computing
EU tech chief sees draft voluntary AI code within weeks
Britain's Monzo narrows annual loss, IPO 'some ways down the road'
Infineon CFO: looking for acquisitions of up to 3 billion euros

Others Also Read