UK minister rejects Microsoft criticism of decision to block 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/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - British business minister Kemi Badenoch said on Tuesday she did not agree with Microsoft President Brad Smith that the Competition and Market Authority's initial decision to block its purchase of videogame maker Activision was bad for Britain.

"Call of Duty" maker Activision Blizzard has since said it will sell its streaming rights in a fresh attempt to win approval from Britain's anti-trust regulator, the CMA, for its $69 billion sale to Microsoft.

Asked about Smith's criticism, given that the deal had been approved in some other countries, Badenoch pointed out it had gone to appeal in the companies' main market, the United States.

"We were not an outlier if you talk about the size of the market... At some point, we have to decide are we making (decisions) in a way that's right for us or just trying to do what everybody else is doing? So no, I don't agree with his comment," she told lawmakers.

"If the CMA is doing something wrong, I think that will become evident through a pattern which is not yet the case."

(Reporting by Alistair Smout and Muvija M; Editing by Sachin Ravikumar)

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