This is an update on Microsoft’s deal to acquire Activision Blizzard. There have been many changes in less than a week – really just a three-day period. There are four major parties involved in this merger. They are the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), Microsoft, and Activision Blizzard.
The FTC has suspended its internal intent to block the acquisition following its failure to receive a court order for an injunction to stop the deal.
The CMA had blocked the merger earlier this spring but has agreed to work with Microsoft and Activision Blizzard in search of an agreement to permit the merger. It will issue a final verdict on August 29th.
Microsoft and Activision Blizzard
Microsoft and Activision Blizzard have both agreed to postpone the merger until this October. The decision will however wait on the CMA decision to move forward. The UK CMA’s decision to block the deal remains in effect at this time, with a final decision expected on August 29th.
While most gamers are anxious for the deal to proceed, government bodies are concerned about the unfair market advantage that this might lend to Microsoft. Including granting preferences to its game consoles and obligating consumers to purchase its brand.
Activision Blizzard is a publisher of many famous and popular games such as Code of Duty and StarCraft. Last week Sony negotiated a binding agreement that would allow it to run COD on its PlayStation console for the next ten years. Microsoft has promised fair conduct and trade, permitting all former Activision Blizzard games to remain open to multiple platforms.
However, the CMA needs these assurances as binding guarantees in a bid to better defend consumer rights to choose. Microsoft does not have a monopoly history but could later add unfair policies.