The UK government is investigating Microsoft’s acquisition of Blizzard

The purpose is to determine whether the agreement is capable of reducing competition to ridiculous levels.

The UK competition regulator – the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) – announced on Wednesday that it is investigating Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

The authority will decide whether the acquisition may affect competition in the gaming industry. This includes evidence of “higher prices, lower quality or reduced choice” for consumers that may appear as a result of the deal.

Microsoft has agreed to the probe and has already said that antitrust authorities will examine how the deal announced in January could affect competition in the video game industry, app stores and even job markets.

We expect and believe it is appropriate that regulators carefully review this acquisition.,” said Lisa Tanzi, Microsoft’s corporate vice president and general counsel, in a statement Wednesday.

We have been clear about how we plan to manage our gaming business and why we believe the deal will benefit players, developers and the industry.“.

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We are ready to answer the regulators’ questions and, ultimately, we believe that a thorough review will help close the deal with broad confidence and that it will be positive for competition.Tanzi added.

We are confident that the deal will close in fiscal 2023 as originally anticipated.“.

Among the points of the investigation, the Ministry of Health will survey the public on the issue until July 20. The agency has until September to complete the investigation.

Awaiting investigation

Shortly after announcing its $68.7 billion acquisition, the largest in its history, Microsoft has already filed for expected scrutiny from regulators. The acquisition of Blizzard makes Bill Gates’ company the world’s third-largest game publisher behind Tencent and Sony.

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In February, it announced several commitments that would extend to its gaming business to head off any concerns that its position as a guardian could give it anti-competitive influence over game publishers or software developers, an allegation that has dogged Apple and Google across the board. in the world. .

It really suits us to move quickly and proactively and be very transparent about how we run this business, with a clear eye on competition law issues and responsibilities.Microsoft president Brad Smith told reporters at the time.


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