Microsoft to Take Part in Games Industry Event in UK on Same Day as CMA’s Activision Blizzard Ruling

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Microsoft is going to take part in a games industry event on Downing Street (Westminster, London) next week on the same day that the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is due to rule on its pending takeover of Call of Duty maker Activision Blizzard, Sky News has learned. The news seems to suggest that the CMA may be ruling in Microsoft’s favor, as the company would face “embarrassment” at the upcoming event in the event that the deal, which was originally announced in January 2022 and valued at $68.7 billion, ended up being rejected. A rejection would also be “damaging” to Microsoft’s relationship with the UK government, according to one source.

From a Sky News report:

Sky News has learnt that the technology giant is among the companies due to attend an event organised by UK Interactive Entertainment (UKIE), the industry body on April 26 – the same day as a Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) statutory deadline to deliver its Phase-2 verdict on the Activision deal.

One City source said there was “bemusement” at the confluence of the two events, and said a CMA decision to reject the deal would be “damaging” to Microsoft’s relationship with the government.

They added that Microsoft faced “embarrassment” at being inside Downing Street if the CMA’s ruling went against the company.

Last month, the CMA said it no longer believed there would be a “substantial lessening of competition” in the games console market – where Microsoft has a big presence with its Xbox product – if it bought Activision, which makes the Call of Duty franchise.

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