Microsoft and Activision have announced their plans to appeal the decision by the UK Competitions and Markets Authority to block their proposed merger. The UK watchdog stated that it prevented the deal over concerns that it would damage competition in the cloud gaming market. Microsoft’s vice chair and president, Brad Smith, stated that they remain committed to the acquisition and will appeal, highlighting that the CMA’s decision discourages technology innovation and investment in the UK. Activision’s spokesperson also stated that the CMA’s report contradicts the ambitions of the UK to become an attractive country to build technology businesses, and they will work aggressively with Microsoft to reverse this on appeal.
The CMA’s decision proves to be a significant roadblock for Microsoft’s attempt to purchase Activision. The original goal of finalizing the deal by the summer now seems unlikely. However, the companies’ confidence remains high, and they plan to contest the decision by appealing to the UK Competition Appeals Tribunal. Activision CEO Bobby Kotick, who will remain in post if the deal fails, emphasized that they are already working on the appeal process.
This decision is a disservice to UK citizens, who face increasingly dire economic prospects. The report’s conclusions have sent a strong message to global innovators, both large and small, that the UK is closed for business. Nonetheless, both companies are determined to contest this decision and reassess their growth plans for the UK, as they remain confident that their merger will not harm competition in the cloud gaming market.