Market insight and regulatory news publication MLex reports that Microsoft and Activision Blizzard are mulling over options to close their merger deal despite U.K.’s veto. The country’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) blocked the acquisition and went as far as preventing the companies from merging for the next 10 years.
Could Microsoft make Activision Blizzard leave UK?
MLex claims (via ResetEra, SeekingAlpha) that one of the options being considered by Microsoft and Activision is for the latter to leave the U.K., move operations somewhere within the EU — where the deal has been approved — and sell games in the U.K. via a distributor. However, such a move has to come from Activision alone to avoid violating merger laws, which require merging companies to remain independent pending a final decision.
Microsoft could also extend more remedies to the CMA, but that’s unlikely to sway the regulator. The company is currently appealing the CMA’s decision, but MLex claims to have heard that Microsoft might also consider closing the deal in the U.K. regardless, and fight CMA in court when sued.
“Our priority is pursuing the appeal process in the U.K., and we remain committed to constructive dialogue and solutions to address regulatory concerns,” a Microsoft spokesperson told MLex.