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UK May Block Microsoft Activision Merger for 10 Years

U.K. regulator Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) may end up blocking any attempt by Microsoft to acquire Activision Blizzard for at least ten years. This tidbit of information has been spotted in CMA’s final 400+ page report explaining its decision to prevent the parties from merging.

Microsoft Activision merger blocked over Cloud competition concerns

Much to everyone’s surprise, CMA decided against the deal over concerns that Microsoft will end up unfairly dominating the cloud gaming space — still a nascent market. Both the Xbox maker and Activision Blizzard have vowed to appeal the ruling despite the U.K. having a notoriously difficult appeals process that makes it rare for CMA’s decisions to be overturned.

As noted by ResetEra user Idas, page 336 of CMA’s final report states that it’s normal practice to prevent companies from merging for at least ten years if an acquisition has been blocked unless there’s a change of circumstances that warrants reconsideration.

Prohibition would be effected by accepting undertakings under section 82 of the Act or making an order under section 84 of the Act, prohibiting the Merger and preventing the Parties from attempting to merge for a further period: our normal practice would be to prevent a future merger between the Parties for the next ten years, absent a change of circumstances.

It’s no surprise, then, that Microsoft and Activision Blizzard are already working to file an appeal against the CMA’s ruling. Both companies have expressed their disappointment over the decision, with Activision stating that it’ll reassess its future plans in the country should its appeal not be successful.

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