Xbox Boss on Microsoft-Activision Deal Merger Being Blocked, Appeal Plans

Xbox Boss on Microsoft-Activision Deal Being Blocked, Appeal Plans

Last month, the CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) of the United Kingdom announced that it would block the proposed Microsoft-Activision deal and merger. Following the news, CEO of Xbox Game Studios Phil Spencer says appeals will be made on the decision.

What will Microsoft do following CMA Decision?

Speaking during a recent appearance on the Kinda Funny Games Xcast, Spencer was asked about the decision and said that he’s still confident the Microsoft-Activision deal will happen. Spencer did note that Microsoft would be appealing the move and cited that the move has already been approved in nine other jurisdictions.

“We remain confident,” Spencer said. “Obviously the news from the CMA…we’ll be appealing that. That’s our plan. We continue to work with the European Union, we’ll continue to work with the FTC. I think there are, like, 14 jurisdictions all working on approval, I think we have 9 approvals so far.”

As far as the CMA’s rule against the acquisition due to concerns over cloud gaming services and its competition, Spencer said that he doesn’t think Microsoft has cornered any market yet, and said that he believes the vision of cloud gaming that the CMA had in its ruling is not one that exists today.

“But, the CMA decision was disappointing,” said Spencer. “We’ve been talking to that group for coming up on a year. They’ve defined a market of cloud gaming that, in my mind, doesn’t really exist yet today. But they have a point of view that maybe we have a lead in a market that’s just forming and that this content can somehow prohibit others from competing in that market. But we’ll appeal, we’ll we’ll stay on it, the company remains very, very committed. Activision Blizzard King is not our strategy, but it is an accelerant for our strategy. We’re still heads down and working through regulatory.”

In January 2022, Microsoft announced its intent to acquire Activision Blizzard for a staggering $68.7 billion in cash. The move would give Microsoft ownership over several high-profile gaming franchises, including Call of Duty, Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, Warcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, and more.

The full Microsoft-Activision deal was originally expected to close by the spring of this year, but opposition from the UK’s CMA and the United States’ FTC (Federal Trade Commission) have put a halt to the deal officially closing as of yet.