UK regulator blocks Microsoft acquisition of Activision Blizzard
Dominance over cloud gaming said to be the biggest concern
The United Kingdom government regulators have announced that they are against the proposed deal that would see Microsoft purchase publisher Activision Blizzard and most of its assets.
The proposed deal was first announced in 2022, and since then has been pending challenges from UK, US, and EU who are keen to verify the merger would not inhibit the open and fair marketplace.
The UK's regular is the first to render its verdict today, blocking the deal and citing cloud gaming domination as the major reason. In part, the statement reads: "Microsoft already accounts for an estimated 60-70% of global cloud gaming services and has other important strengths in cloud gaming from owning Xbox, the leading PC operating system (Windows) and a global cloud computing infrastructure (Azure and Xbox Cloud Gaming). The deal would reinforce Microsoft’s advantage in the market by giving it control over important gaming content such as Call of Duty, Overwatch, and World of Warcraft."
Microsoft issued a swift response to the decision, stating they plan to appeal.