UK's CMA signals willingness to renegotiate Microsoft & Activision Blizzard deal

After the FTC failed to block the Microsoft and Activision Blizzard merger, the UK's CMA stands as one of the only obstacles to the deal's close.

Image via CMA

With Microsoft’s win over the US Federal Trade Commission in court for its $68.7 billion deal to acquire Activision Blizzard, very few things stand in the way of the deal’s closure, notably the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority. The CMA shut down the deal for failures by Microsoft to assuage its concerns regarding the cloud gaming market. However, following Microsoft’s victory in US courts, the CMA has signaled it is prepared to come to the table with Microsoft again and renegotiate, though it is no guarantee of a change in the CMA’s decision.

The CMA shared a statement of its stance on Microsoft following its court victory over the FTC, sharing its willingness to meet with Microsoft again regarding the Activision Blizzard merger.

“We stand ready to consider any proposals from Microsoft to restructure the transaction in a way that would address the concerns set out in our Final Report,” a CMA spokesperson said.

The US FTC building
Following its victory over the FTC in court, the UK's CMA is one of the last remaining obstacles to Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
Source: FTC

This is not a change in the CMA’s decision, which blocked the Microsoft and Activision Blizzard deal in the UK in April 2023. At the time, the CMA said that Microsoft had not done enough to stifle concerns about Microsoft’s hold on gaming, especially regarding the cloud gaming market. Though Microsoft signed several deals guaranteeing large franchises on certain platforms and services, it was not enough to keep the CMA from ultimately blocking the deal. The CMA went on to say in a further statement that renegotiation may require another investigation to ensure Microsoft is satisfying concerns.

“Whilst 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,” the CMA added.

Microsoft previously lawyered up with an attorney known for overturning CMA decisions. It will be interesting to see if the company intends to meet the CMA in court again, or renegotiate and answer to a new investigation. Stay tuned as we continue to follow this story for further updates.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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