Budapest Post

Cum Deo pro Patria et Libertate
Budapest, Europe and world news

Explainer: What next for Microsoft's $69 billion Activision deal after UK ban?

Explainer: What next for Microsoft's $69 billion Activision deal after UK ban?

Britain's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) on Wednesday blocked Microsoft's (MSFT.O) $69 billion acquisition of 'Call of Duty' maker Activision Blizzard (ATVI.O) over concerns it would hinder cloud gaming.

The ruling was a shock after the regulator had already resolved its concerns about the consoles market, a sector dominated by Sony's PlayStation and Microsoft's Xbox, which dwarfs cloud gaming.


IS THE DEAL DEAD?


Not necessarily. Microsoft said it remained fully committed and would appeal.

The regulator's decision reflected a flawed understanding of the market, it said.


HOW DOES THE APPEAL PROCESS WORK?


Microsoft can appeal to Britain's Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT), an independent judicial body, which will only examine the CMA's decision-making process, not the merits of the merger.

Microsoft will not be able to offer new remedies at this stage, such as offering to keep Activision content off its Xbox Game Pass, a subscription service for Xbox users, in Britain, as some analysts suggest.

"The CAT will not engage with the merits of the CMA's decision or conduct a wholesale review of the parties' evidence," said Edward Lane, senior associate at law firm Harbottle & Lewis, where his particular focus is on creative industries, including film, TV, video games and music.


WHAT'S NEXT?


Microsoft must appeal by May 24 and a decision may take many months.

"The CAT aims to deal with 'straightforward' cases in under nine months – and Microsoft/Activision is anything but straightforward," Lane, said.


WHAT HAPPENS IF MICROSOFT WINS?


The Tribunal will return the case to the regulator for further review. Microsoft can then offer new concessions.

"The likelihood is that without a material change in circumstances or new evidence, the CMA is most likely to reach the same conclusion as it did first time around," said James Groves, a competition associate at European law firm Fieldfisher.


WHAT ABOUT OTHER REGULATORS?


European regulators will rule on the world's biggest gaming deal by May 22. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint to block the deal, which Microsoft has indicated it will fight.

If either of those blocks the deal, it could be game over, Lane said.

If the EU goes against it, Microsoft would be fighting an increasingly uphill battle and could decide to cut its losses, even if that would mean paying Activision a hefty $3 billion break fee.


WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO OTHER CMA APPEALS?


Facebook-owner Meta (META.O) appealed a 2021 decision by the CMA to block its acquisition of Giphy, seen as a test case for the British regulator's resolve to take on "Big Tech".

Meta succeeded on a single procedural ground, with the decision otherwise upheld. The CMA considered new submissions, but it came to the same view and Meta had to sell animated images platform Giphy.

Global financial services company FNZ appealed a block on its 2019 merger with rival GBST. The regulator then "identified certain potential errors" in its investigation chaired by Martin Coleman, who also oversaw the Microsoft-Activision case.

The CAT sent the case back to be reconsidered, and the CMA agreed to accept a new remedy whereby FNZ could sell GBST and then buy parts of it back.

Newsletter

Related Articles

0:00
0:00
Close
Ukraine Arrests Father-Son Duo In Lockbit Cybercrime Bust
US Offers $15 Million For Info On Leaders Of Cybercrime Group Lockbit
Apple warns against drying iPhones with rice
Alexei Navalny: UK sanctions Russian prison chiefs after activist's death
German economy is in 'troubled waters' - ministry
In a recent High Court hearing, the U.S. argued that Julian Assange endangered lives by releasing classified information.
Tucker Carlson says Boris Johnson wants "a million dollars, in Bitcoin or cash, from Tucker Carlson to talk about Ukraine.
Russia is rebuilding capacity to destabilize European countries, new UK report warns
EU Commission wants anti-drone defenses at Brussels HQ
Von der Leyen’s 2nd-term pitch: More military might, less climate talk
EU Investigates TikTok for Child Safety Concerns
EU Launches Probe Into TikTok Over Child Protection Under Digital Content Law
EU and UK Announce Joint Effort on Migration
Ministers Confirm Proposal to Prohibit Mobile Phone Usage in English Schools
Avdiivka - Symbol Of Ukrainian Resistance Now In Control Of Russian Troops
"Historic Step": Zelensky Signs Security Pact With Germany
"Historic Step": Zelensky Signs Security Pact With Germany
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has died at the Arctic prison colony
Tucker Carlson grocery shopping in Russia. This is so interesting.
France and Germany Struggle to Align on European Defense Strategy
‘A lot higher than we expected’: Russian arms production worries Europe’s war planners
Greece Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage and Adoption Rights
Russia "Very Close" To Creating Cancer Vaccines, Says Vladimir Putin
Hungarian Foreign Minister: Europeans will lose Europe, the Union's policy must change drastically
Microsoft says it caught hackers from China, Russia and Iran using its AI tools
US Rejects Putin's Ceasefire Offer in Ukraine
The Dangers of Wildfire Smoke and Self-Protection Strategies
A Londoner has been arrested for expressing his Christian beliefs.
Chinese Women Favor AI Boyfriends Over Humans
Greece must address role in migrant vessel disaster that killed 600: Amnesty
Google pledges 25 million euros to boost AI skills in Europe
Hungarian President Katalin Novák Steps Down Amid Pardon Controversy
Activist crashes Hillary Clinton's speech, calls her a 'war criminal.'
In El Salvador, the 'Trump of Latin America' stuns the world with a speech slamming woke policing after winning a landslide election
Trudeau reacts to Putin's mention of Canadian Parliament applauding a former Ukrainian Nazi in his interview with Tucker Carlson.
The Spanish police blocked the farmers protest. So the farmers went out and moved the police car out of the way.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy fires top Ukraine army commander
Tucker Carlson's interview with Vladimir Putin raises EU concerns
Finnish Airline, Finnair, is voluntarily weighing passengers to better estimate flight cargo weight
Russia's Economy Expands by 3.6% Due to Increased Military Spending
Ukraine MPs Vote To Permit Use Of Dead Soldiers' Sperm
German Princess Becomes First Aristocrat To Pose Naked On Playboy Cover
UK’s King Charles III diagnosed with cancer
EU's Ursula von der Leyen Confronts Farmer Protests Amid Land Policy Debates
Distinguishing Between Harmful AI Media and Positive AI-Generated Content: A Crucial Challenge for the EU
Tucker Carlson explains why he interviewed Putin
Dutch farmers are still protesting in the Netherlands against the government, following the World Economic Forum's call for 'owning nothing.'
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán stands up for European farmers and says, 'Brussels is suffocating European farmers.
This farmer seems to understand science a bit more than the event organizer, Klaus Schwab.
French farmers are not messing around.
×