Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard is back in the blizzard. This time, between the IT giant and the Santa Monica software house has set up the Competition and Markets Authority, a UK non-ministerial government department that, in essence, regulates competition in the Queen’s land.
This body has issued a statement, here it is:
The Italian Antitrust Authority (CMA) informs pursuant to Article 96 (2A) of the law that the merger deed provided by Microsoft Corporation and Activision Blizzard Inc. in relation to the planned acquisition by Microsoft Corporation of Activision Blizzard Inc. meets the requirements of Section 96 (2) of the law. The initial period defined in section 34ZA (3) of the law in relation to the merger runs from the first business day following the date of this notice, i.e. July 7, 2022. The deadline by which the CMA will announce its decision to postpone the merger to the Phase 2 of the survey is therefore on 1 September 2022.
In September, therefore, we will know if the deal went through or not. Also because, the American equivalent of the CMA is moving in the same direction. In short, the acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft is increasingly perceived by regulatory bodies as an incorrect move.
In any case, for his part, Microsoft has said it will close the acquisition by the end of fiscal 2023. Although, to have absolute certainty, it will be necessary to wait for these two bodies to make their investigations.
In the case of the CMA, according to what is read in the press release, these will end on September 1st. After that date we will find out if, at least for the UK, this marriage will take place. If not, it will proceed to Phase 2 of the investigation.
Until then, the CMA will listen to the third parties involved in order to fully understand the effects that an acquisition of this type could have on the gaming market. And if the investigation has started, they probably have the well-founded suspicion that it will not have too many beneficial effects.
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