UK regulator adds more restrictions against Microsoft, Activision Blizzard

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The Competition and Markets Authority, the UK regulator that last month blocked Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard, has imposed further restrictions on the two companies.

that Temporary order Yesterday the organization published details of the new restrictions on “acquiring an interest” in the other company.

Under the CMA’s order, Microsoft and Activision will need to obtain the regulator’s prior written approval before either:

  • Acquires an interest in the other company or any of its subsidiaries, for example investing in each other’s development studios
  • Acquires an interest in another business that has an interest in the other company
  • You have an option to have an interest in any of the above

The CMA said the restrictions were added “for the purpose of preventing precautionary measures” from Microsoft or Activision Blizzard.

Last month, the Capital Markets Authority chose not to approve the $68.7 billion acquisition over concerns that Microsoft would become dominant in the cloud gaming space.

Microsoft has vowed to appeal against the decision, with Xbox, Activision Blizzard and CMA now preparing their cases for the Competition Appeals Tribunal.

While the deal has been approved in a variety of other markets — including Japan, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Chile and, most recently, Ukraine — Microsoft and Activision need to win over regulators in the US, UK and Europe for the acquisition to happen. .

While only the CMA is officially blocking the deal, the US Federal Trade Commission issued a legal complaint back in December, with a court hearing scheduled for August.

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The European Union issued a formal antitrust warning in January, and is due to make its final decision by May 22.

You can read more about the regulatory hurdles Microsoft and Activision Blizzard face in our comprehensive guide.

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