Microsoft's $69 Bn Activision Deal May Get New UK Probe | Tech News

Microsoft's $69 Bn Activision Deal May Get New UK Probe

Sending the deal back to first base in the UK would mean starting a new “phase 1” CMA probe. This would look at whether a deal could cause potential competition issues and structural remedies are often considered at this stage.

By:BLOOMBERG
| Updated on: Jul 13 2023, 09:30 IST
Microsoft
After a US court approved the largest-ever gaming deal, all parties decided to put on hold an appeal trial against the CMA’s decision to block it. (REUTERS)

Britain's antitrust watchdog said that a new merger investigation into Microsoft Corp.'s $69 billion Activision Blizzard Inc. deal may be needed if the duo restructure their deal in a bid to reverse a UK veto.

After a US court approved the largest-ever gaming deal, all parties decided to put on hold an appeal trial against the CMA's decision to block it. That pause gives the firms a chance to suggest potential fixes aimed at easing UK concerns that the takeover would stymie competition.

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“Merging parties don't have the opportunity to put forward new remedies once a final report has been issued, they can choose to restructure a deal, which can lead to a new merger investigation,” a spokesperson from the Competition and Markets Authority said in a statement Wednesday.

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Sending the deal back to first base in the UK would mean starting a new “phase 1” CMA probe. This would look at whether a deal could cause potential competition issues and structural remedies are often considered at this stage.

“Microsoft and Activision have indicated that they are considering how the transaction might be modified, and the CMA is prepared to engage with them on this basis,” the spokesperson said. “These discussions remain at an early stage and the nature and timing of next steps will be determined in due course.”

Microsoft was heading to an appeal trial at the Competition Appeal Tribunal against the CMA's decision to block the deal. The trial was due to kick off on July 28.

Earlier Tuesday Microsoft won approval from a US court to move forward with the deal in a blow to the US Federal Trade Commission, which was trying to block it.

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First Published Date: 13 Jul, 07:31 IST
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