The United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has recently put a stop to Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard for 68.7 billion dollars. The president of Microsoft at the time, Brad Smith, commented that the firm was “very disappointed” with the decision and that he believed it was detrimental to Britain. Now, the CEO of the company, Satya Nadella, has repeated his concerns and has not ruled out the possibility of the company not selling Activision Blizzard titles in the UK. This includes Call of Duty.
When Nadella was asked whether he was shocked by the decision of the CMA, he responded, “very much, very much because in some sense, this is the most pro-competitive thing I’ve ever seen.” This was made in response to a question posed to him during an interview.
“Consumer surplus, if that is the goal, and more competition if that is the goal, and benefit for small publishers if that is the goal, then it checks all the boxes,” Nadella continued.
Microsoft has negotiated 10-year distribution agreements with Nvidia, Nintendo, Boosteroid of the Ukraine, Ubitus of Japan, and Nware of Spain to deliver Activision’s games on those companies’ respective platforms.
When Nadella was asked if he would ever see an age in which a product is sold in the United States and in Europe but not in the United Kingdom if they didn’t authorise it, he responded by saying, “Let’s wait for it to all play out.”
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Activision Blizzard had previously stated that the business will reevaluate its “growth plans for the UK.” In spite of all the hyperbole, the United Kingdom is plainly not open for business, and entrepreneurs throughout the world, no matter how big or how small, will take note of this.
Smith went on to say, “There’s a clear message here – the European Union is a more attractive place to start a business than the United Kingdom.”
EU gives its blessing to Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision
The statements made by Nadella come a few days after the European Union gave its approval to the deal worth $69 billion. The European Commission found the transaction to be in the public interest because of the licencing agreements made by Microsoft. Margrethe Vestager, the head of antitrust enforcement for the European Union, referred to such licences as “practical and effective.”
She stated that “in actuality, they significantly improve the condition for cloud game streaming in comparison to the current situation,” which is the primary reason why “we actually consider them to be pro-competitive.”