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Industry blasts UK competition authority over Activision Blizzard decision

by on28 April 2023

Watchdog might have been listening to the wrong side

Yesterday’s move by the United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to block the Activision Blizzard acquisition has been blasted by those it was meant to protect.

The CMA said it took its stance based on providing a fairer ground for cloud gaming, however, some key figures in this space have been hitting out against the move.

NVIDIA GeForce NOW said that Activision’s library becoming more available for users via the cloud is a net positive (and therefore good for competition), a direct contrast to the CMA’s view of things.

In fact, the only one who might be opening the champers over the deal is Sony.

Florian Mueller saying the CMA protected Sony and Apple’s duopoly over cloud gaming by shutting out rivals.

Microsoft attempted to limit the impact on other cloud gaming providers and even platforms such as the Nintendo Switch, which the CMA dismissed due to their "technical incapability" of running Call of Duty titles.

What is more likely is that Vole and Activision Blizzard will appeal more aggressively and it might be hoping that a ruling in the US will be more positive.

Microsoft has really thrown its toys out of the pram over the move and practically threatened to take its business out of the UK.

Microsoft's president Brad Smith said the UK regulator's decision to prevent its acquisition of 'Call of Duty' maker Activision Blizzard "had shaken confidence" in Britain as a destination for tech businesses.

He said it was "probably the darkest day in our four decades in Britain" and sent the wrong message about the UK to the global tech industry.

"If the government of the United Kingdom wants to bring in investment, if it wants to create jobs it needs to look hard at the role of the CMA, the regulatory structure in the United Kingdom, this transaction, and the message that the United Kingdom has just said to the world," he told BBC radio.

"We believe the UK has an extremely attractive tech sector and a growing games market. We will continue to engage proactively with Microsoft and other companies."


Last modified on 28 April 2023
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