Now that the European Union is on board with Microsoft’s $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, attention in the UK is shifting towards the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), with Members of Parliament beginning to question the CMA’s decision to block the deal in the UK.
CMA executives Marcus Bokkerink and Sarah Cardell have been questioned regarding the decision reached by the regulator, with many MPs expressing concerns about the block damaging the UK’s reputation on an international level. There are significant worries about the UK being open for business, something that Microsoft and Activision executives have stated is now unclear following the CMA decision.
As seen in the recorded session on Parliamentlive.tv (and reported by Eurogamer), the CMA’s Bokkerink has already responded to these concerns from MPs, stating:
“I understand the inference – that when a decision is made that blocks a deal, there are questions about whether the UK is open for business. All businesses understand that there is a very big difference between building a business, investing in a new business, investing in a start-up, creating a new business – there is a big difference between that and buying an already established, incumbent business with established positions. The two are not the same.
“The UK has always encouraged – and it is the duty of the CMA to encourage – open competitive markets. We are vigilant – as is our duty – for investments that consolidate an already entrenched market power.”
While the EU is in favour of the deal, the CMA has also pointed fingers at the US and how the Federal Trade Commission is still working to block the monumental merger.
Nevertheless, the CMA seems to be standing firm on its decision, against which Microsoft will still appeal, a process that is likely to take months, if not years, to complete.