CMA Blocks Microsoft’s Acquisition of Activision Blizzard

The Competitors and Markets Authority (CMA) blocked what would have been the most important deal within the gaming trade to this point on April 26, 2023. This choice brings consideration to varied 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 based mostly 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 increasingly more on non-horizontal relationships and provide chain points, notably if one celebration is vertically built-in. Whereas previously, considerations may typically be remedied through behavioral commitments, increasingly more offers with a vertical part at the moment are being outright prohibited.
  • Whereas the trade expects the European Fee (Fee) to just accept the behavioral treatment (license bundle) supplied by Microsoft, this case exhibits as soon as once more that the CMA and the Fee can attain totally different conclusions when reviewing the identical transaction.

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Transaction Lawyer Nils Inventory contributed to this text.