The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) recently blocked Microsoft from acquiring Activision Blizzard on the grounds that the deal would be anti-competitive in the Cloud gaming market. Microsoft is expected to appeal the decision in court.

Microsoft President Criticizes UK Regulator

In response to the CMA’s decision, Microsoft President Brad Smith criticized the UK regulator, calling it “bad for Britain.” In an interview with the BBC, Smith stated that the decision was “probably the darkest day in our four decades in Britain” and that it “does more than shake our confidence in the future of the opportunity to grow a technology business in Britain than we’ve ever confronted before.” Smith also claimed that “the European Union is a more attractive place to start a business than the United Kingdom.”

UK Government Responds to Smith’s Comments

In response to Smith’s comments, a spokesperson for UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak stated that the claims were “not borne out by the facts.” The UK government defended the CMA’s decision to block the acquisition, stating that it was necessary to maintain competition in the Cloud gaming market.

The CMA’s decision is a significant setback for Microsoft and Activision, and it is uncertain whether it will be the end of the largest video game acquisition in the industry’s history. The Federal Trade Commission in the US is set to begin its final hearings on the case in August, which will likely delay Microsoft’s June target to close the deal. Microsoft and Activision’s appeal against the CMA’s decision is not guaranteed to be successful.

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