The CMA’s opposition to Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard came as quite a surprise. We all expected, after his latest arguments and the concessions made by the Redmond giant, that both Europe and the United Kingdom would give the green light to this operation, but in the end, only the first one resolved positively and approved the acquisition.
This left Microsoft in a bit of an odd position, as it is welcomed by many countries, including Japan and China, but against the UK and the US FTC. So far, the giant’s response has been appeal the decision of the British CMA. The Competition Appeal Tribunal will be the judicial body in charge of resolving said appeal, although this could take a long time, since it has a period of up to nine months to issue a verdict.
The fact is that, while we wait for that appeal to be resolved, the European Union has not hesitated to deepen the perspective with which you have approached your resolution about the approval of Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard, and has said that although they had serious doubts at first, these were completely dispelled.
According to Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice President of the European Commission, she says that not all vertical mergers of companies should be viewed negatively, and specified that Microsoft’s investment in this area, together with the solutions it has agreed with the European Union, will help that the cloud gaming industry improve and grow in ways that otherwise would not have been possible.
Put more simply, Europe believes that Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard would be good for game development in the cloud, quite the opposite of what the CMA thinks.. Curious, without a doubt, since we have two totally opposite points of view before the same fact, and before the same solutions and concessions. Of course something has not gone well in the assessment process of the British organization.
I know what you are thinking, why do I think that Europe is right and the United Kingdom is not. The answer is very simple, according to the CMA the main argument for blocking the purchase was the possible damage to cloud gamingbut this does not make any sense, because Microsoft itself promised to offer a totally free global license to cloud gaming providers and consumers for all Activision Blizzard titlesand for a minimum term of 10 years.
On the other hand, the European Union has also highlighted that the benefits that this concession entails were recognized internationally, both by developers and by distributors and providers of cloud games, and also by the consumers themselves. This move by Microsoft is so important that, for many, it would really help unlock the potential of the cloud gaming market.
All this argument from the European Union places the British CMA in an increasingly complicated position, which, with its decision to block the purchase of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft, did nothing more than demonstrate once again what we told you at the time when this article, that this type of organisms often They don’t really know the market they regulate.