Earlier today, on February 8, the Competition Markets Authority agency in the UK published a provisional report on Microsoft's attempted acquisition of Activision Blizzard. "A CMA investigation has provisionally concluded that Microsoft's proposed acquisition of Activision could result in higher prices, fewer choices, and less innovation for UK gamers," the statement reads.
This follows a "wide-ranging investigation conducted over the last five months to understand the market and potential impact of the deal," the agency states. This includes visits to both Microsoft and Activision Blizzard, as well as the review of over three million internal documents provided to the agency from both companies.
The CMA has also found that Microsoft's proposed acquisition could result in less competition in both the cloud gaming space and console markets. Microsoft holds 60-70% of the world's cloud gaming services, the CMA says, and purchasing Activision Blizzard would only reinforce this position, leading to less competition in that space.
While this isn't a final ruling into the acquisition, things aren't looking good for Microsoft's purchase of Activision Blizzard, in the UK at least. The final report from the CMA will be published on April 26 2023, so we'll have to keep an eye on the CMA, Microsoft, and Activision Blizzard in the coming months for any further developments on the potential ruling.
Check out our new games 2023 guide for a look at everything Microsoft and its competitors have on the docket for the rest of the year.