Activision Blizzard’s Bobby Kotick has seemingly stepped away from trying to collect his golden parachute at the company long enough to share some thoughts on authorities currently stifling the deal. Recently, the current Activision Blizzard CEO went on various outlets and blasted the UK government and its Competition and Markets Authority, claiming that refusal to let the deal pass could have severe consequences for UK’s tech industry.
Kotick shared some of these opinions in a recent interview with CNBC. In his chat with CNBC, he referred back to comments from UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak about ambitions for the country to become the “Silicon Valley of Europe.”
“If deals like this can’t get through, [the UK's] not going to be Silicon Valley, [it'll] be Death Valley,” Kotick said. “Post-Brexit UK [is] probably the first country where you’re seeing a recession, like the real severe consequences of a recession. I would think you would want to embrace a transaction like this… where you’re gonna see job creation and opportunity.”
Kotick didn’t stop there. The Activision Blizzard CEO would then go on to blast the UK in a follow-up chat with the Financial Times. It was there that he accused the government of lacking “any real vision in the leadership for pursuing these kinds of opportunities.”
“It seems like a bit of a fragile government. Where’s the leadership?,” Kotick said before turning his attention to the Competition and Markets Authority. “[The CMA] seem like they’ve been co-opted by the FTC ideology and [are] not really using independent thought, or thinking about how this transaction would positively impact the UK.”
It’s not the first time Kotick has spoken out on the deal and various challenges facing Microsoft’s $68.7 billion acquisition. After the US Federal Trade Commission signaled intent to file a lawsuit and block the deal, Kotick shared confidence that it survive said challenges from the FTC. Nonetheless, lambasting and possibly even threatening the very regulators that Microsoft lawyers are currently trying to persuade is an interesting play by the often-controversial and highly problematic CEO.
With Microsoft attempting to put out fires related to the deal with antitrust authorities worldwide, Kotick’s future with the company if the deal passes remains in question, though current reports have suggested he would answer to Phil Spencer. Stay tuned as we continue to report on the latest regarding the Microsoft and Activision Blizzard deal.