The day started with very bad news for Microsoft, as the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) decided to block the purchase of Activision Blizzard. The company will not stand idly by and has already confirmed that it will appeal the decision to defend the deal.
Brad Smith, president of Microsoft, was disappointed with the CMA's decision, as he believes that its investigation into cloud gaming was not satisfactory. He confirmed that they are already working to file an appeal and that they are committed to strengthening all of their recent agreements to address the agency's concerns regarding cloud gaming.
"We remain fully committed to this acquisition and will appeal. The CMA’s decision rejects a pragmatic path to address competition concerns and discourages technology innovation and investment in the United Kingdom.
“We have already signed contracts to make Activision Blizzard’s popular games available on 150 million more devices, and we remain committed to reinforcing these agreements through regulatory remedies. We’re especially disappointed that after lengthy deliberations, this decision appears to reflect a flawed understanding of this market and the way the relevant cloud technology actually works." Smith said.
Activision Blizzard and Bobby Kotick criticize the CMA
From Activision Blizzard's perspective, the CMA's decision goes against the citizens of the United Kingdom and global innovation in the technology sector. The company and Bobby Kotick, its president, stated that they will work together with Microsoft to reverse the CMA's verdict with an appeal.
“The CMA’s report today is a major setback for the UK’s ambitions to be a tech hub, and we will work with Microsoft to reverse it on appeal. This report is also a disservice to UK citizens, who face increasingly dire economic prospects, and we will need to reassess our growth strategy in the UK. Global innovators large and small will take note that – despite all its rhetoric – the UK is closed for business.” Kotick said.
Kotick noted that the merger process is complex, but that it would be helpful to UK to increase its leadership position in technology. He added that he will not hesitate to do everything in his power to make the purchase a reality.
Finally, he believes that the CMA must approve the deal, otherwise it would "holds, it would stifle investment, competition, and job creation throughout the UK gaming industry."