Microsoft prevented from buying 'Call Of Duty' maker Activision Blizzard

Microsoft prevented from buying 'Call Of Duty' maker Activision Blizzard
Photo by Amr Taha™ / Unsplash

$68 billion deal blocked
Microsoft's $68.7 billion deal with gaming giant Activision Blizzard has been blocked by UK regulators.

Both companies appealed to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which ruled that the proposed takeover would "alter the fast-growing cloud gaming market, leading to less innovation and less choice for UK gamers in the coming years".

As a reminder, the regulator began an in-depth review of the merger back in September 2022 after Microsoft struck a deal in January to acquire the creator of the popular Call of Duty game franchise. "The deal will strengthen Microsoft's market advantage by giving it control of important game content such as 'Call of Duty', 'Overwatch' and 'World of Warcraft'," the CMA said in its decision.

It also notes that Microsoft already owns up to 70 per cent of the global cloud gaming market and has "other important advantages" in this area, including Xbox series consoles, the Windows operating system and the global cloud computing infrastructure through Azure and Xbox Cloud Gaming.

For its part, Activision Blizzard said that "the CMA report contradicts the UK's ambition to become an attractive country for building technology businesses." The CMA's decision rejects a pragmatic approach to addressing competition issues and discourages technological innovation and investment in the UK," added Brad Smith, vice chairman of Microsoft.