Microsoft, Activision-Blizzard and CMA: So What’s Next? – IGN

Yesterday, in a surprise decision, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority decided to block Microsoft’s planned $69 billion acquisition of Activision-Blizzard, citing concerns about Microsoft’s ability to dominate the emerging cloud gaming market with exclusives such as Call of Duty.

While the deal has seen problems in many other regions, including the US and the EU, many expected the CMA to approve it, especially after March statement that Call of Duty console exclusivity was no longer a concern. So with further legal trouble looming around the world and Microsoft set to appeal the CMA’s decision, many are now wondering what will happen to Microsoft and Activision-Blizzard both in the UK and abroad.

The answer is, of course, complex, dependent on multiple regulatory bodies, time-consuming and, above all, expensive. We spoke with lawyers and analysts to help identify the rocky road ahead for Microsoft if it wants to continue with Activision-Blizzard, what the likely outcomes are, and why we’ll likely be hearing about this deal for months and possibly years. come on

What happened and why?

After a long review The CMA has moved to block Microsoft from buying Activision-Blizzard, but not for the reason many expected. While much of the public discussion has focused on the possibility of Call of Duty console exclusivity on the Xbox, the CMA determined back in February that this was not actually a serious concern. After all, it wasn’t Call of Duty that convinced CMA to let go, but cloud gaming.

We’ve looked at exactly what the CMA’s objections are to cloud gaming acquisitions details elsewhere, but in summary, the CMA is concerned that if Xbox were to buy Activision Blizzard, it would be able to dominate the cloud gaming market by making games like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft exclusive to its cloud gaming platforms instead of consoles. . CMA says that with these content powers in its pocket, Microsoft could effectively control elements of the market, such as subscription pricing and structure, without significant resistance from other services that lack these huge games. It doesn’t help that CMA already sees Microsoft as having a dominant position in the emerging cloud game thanks to its ownership of the Windows OS, significant cloud infrastructure and already strong content library.

If this all sounds like a pretty big deal, that’s because for Microsoft to go through with its plans to pay $69 billion for Activision Blizzard, it needs approval from regulators in various regions, including the UK, US and EU. . Although some countries have already signed up to the agreement, decisions by both the US and the EU have yet to be made, meaning that the UK’s rejection could be just one of the decisions to come. And while Microsoft says it will be attractive, the longer it goes on, the more expensive and unpleasant it becomes for the company.

What’s next?

As Alex Hafner, competition partner at London law firm Fladgate, explained to me, Microsoft effectively has four weeks to file an appeal document with the UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT), which will then decide whether the CMA “has acted. within the limits of its discretion, making the final decision.

“Overall, this is a high bar for appellants to overcome, and successful appeals of CMA decisions to block mergers have been rare, although not unprecedented,” Hafner explained. “In general, the appeal process can be expected to take three to four months in total. If the CAT were to allow any appeal, the most likely outcome would be to refer the case back to the CMA for a re-decision based on any criticisms supported by the CAT.

The CMA’s final ruling is certainly open to criticism. Gamma Law’s David B. Hope said the CMA’s definition of “cloud gaming” as a segment of its market is a complex argument, adding that the CMA “has kind of co-opted a few things to support the position that Microsoft is already the dominant player in cloud gaming.

#Microsoft #ActivisionBlizzard #CMA #Whats #IGN

Microsoft's Activision deal is on life support because cloud gaming is still bad

Microsoft’s Activision deal is on life support because cloud gaming is still bad

The Athletic

‘I have to redeem myself’: Foligno hopes to become Wild hero, Game 6 lineup decisions and more