The British regulator adds new restrictions against Microsoft and Activision Blizzard

Subscribe to GI Daily here to get the latest news straight to your inbox

The Competition and Markets Authority, the UK regulator that last month blocked Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard, has imposed new restrictions on the two companies.

A temporary order issued yesterday by the organization details the new restrictions on either company having an “interest” in the other.

Under the CMA’s order, Microsoft and Activision will need to obtain the regulator’s prior written approval before either:

  • Acquires an interest in the other company or one of its subsidiaries, for example by investing in the other party’s development studios
  • Acquires a share in another company Owns an ownership interest in another company
  • You have the option to have an interest in any of the above

The CMA said the restrictions were added “in order to prevent preventive measures” by Microsoft or Activision Blizzard.

Last month, the Capital Markets Authority chose not to approve the $68.7 billion acquisition over concerns that Microsoft would become dominant in the cloud gaming space.

Microsoft has promised to appeal the decision, with Xbox, Activision Blizzard and CMA currently preparing their cases before the Competition Appeals Tribunal.

While the deal has been approved in a variety of other markets – including Japan, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Chile and, most recently, Ukraine – Microsoft and Activision need to convince regulators in the US, UK and Europe in order to make the acquisition happen. . .

While only the CMA is officially blocking the deal, the US Federal Trade Commission filed a legal complaint in December, and a hearing is scheduled for August.

The European Union issued an official antitrust warning in January and is expected to issue its final ruling by May 22.

You can read more about the regulatory hurdles Microsoft and Activision Blizzard face in our comprehensive guide.

“Social media addict. Zombie fanatic. travel fanatic. Music geek. Bacon expert.”