UK has Little Room for Mistakes in Microsoft-Activision Deal


Microsoft Corp’s enormous acquisition of the video-game developer Activision Blizzard Inc for $69 billion has gotten backlash from the UK’s antitrust regulator, the Competition & Markets Authority who is known for taking a daring approach to challenging deals such as these. The CMA’s original objection was that Microsoft would have the incentive to withhold games such as Call of Duty from rival Playstation, thus forcing shoppers to switch Xbox and reducing choice.

However, the CMA surprisingly revised its initial findings once more data was presented to them, determining that Microsoft are altogether more likely to have a loss-making experience if they did withhold certain games. This U-Turn and revision serves as an example that CMA not only listens, but they take pride in changing aspects of a case when they believe they are wrong in order to be ultimately right.

Microsoft still has some obstacles to jump through, mainly with regard to the emerging cloud-gaming market. To combat this, Microsoft has signed 10 year licenses with gaming providers such as Nvidia in order to show that the threat of Microsoft monopolizing on their takeover does not exist. Whether the CMA will accept these licenses as a certification for their lingering concerns remains to be seen, although the European authorities do appear more likely to address issues and negotiate behaviors to gain clearance.

Microsoft is a globally known technology company, founded on April 4th, 1975. It is based in Redmond, Washington and primarily specializes in developing, manufacturing, licensing, and supporting a myriad of computer software, consumer electronics, and more. The company is one of the most widely-known and successful corporations in the world with their development of products like the Windows OS, Xbox game console, and Office software suite.

Jennifer Rie, the Bloomberg Intelligence litigation expert, is the person mentioned in this article. Rie is an experienced attorney and foremost expert in antitrust, corporate and securities litigation. She has a vast amount her expertise in regulatory and enforcement issues, primarily in the technology and telecommunications industries. Rie is also an expert public speaker and provides her insights and opinions on current trends as well as analysis on the legal industry.