September 30, 2022

Microsoft’s deal to acquire Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion is not secure, as the UK government has launched an investigation into the merger.

announced today(Opens in a new window), the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will investigate whether the merger of the two companies would lead to a “significant reduction in competition within any UK market or markets for goods or services.” a Tweet by CMA(Opens in a new window) The investigation sums it up a little differently: “We’ll look at whether players can pay higher prices, with fewer options or lower quality.”

The Capital Market Authority invites any interested party to comment on the transaction between now and the closing date of July 20. Such feedback, if relevant and valid, will be used in evaluating the acquisition prior to making a final decision. The deal may be allowed to move forward, blocked, or the CMA may end up requiring some tweaking before it is allowed to move forward.

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as such CNBC indicates(Opens in a new window)This is the first time the deal has been investigated by a competition watchdog, and one with the potential impact on consumers and businesses in mind. New York City is suing the deal, and the Federal Trade Commission is reviewing it, so that scrutiny isn’t over for Microsoft and Activision.

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