UK authority blocks Microsoft's purchase of Activision Blizzard

COD Mobile players parachute to a battlefield below
(Image credit: Activision)

Microsoft's attempted acquisition of Activision Blizzard has been prevented by a UK government agency.

Earlier today on April 26, the UK's Competition and Markets Authority announced that it had prevented Microsoft from purchasing Activision Blizzard. You can see the full announcement just below, in which the government agency reasons that the deal would potentially damage competition in the gaming market.

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Not only that, but there's also concerns that the deal would damage competition in the cloud gaming market specially. This would ultimately lead to less "innovation and choice" for UK gamers, the CMA writes above, leading to them preventing the acquisition from going ahead.

"We remain fully committed to this acquisition and will appeal," Microsoft president Brad Smith said in a statement after the ruling. "The CMA’s decision rejects a pragmatic path to address competition concerns and discourages technology innovation and investment in the United Kingdom."

"We have already signed contracts to make Activision Blizzard’s popular games available on 150 million more devices, and we remain committed to reinforcing these agreements through regulatory remedies," the Microsoft head continued. "We’re especially disappointed that after lengthy deliberations, this decision appears to reflect a flawed understanding of this market and the way the relevant cloud technology actually works."

"The CMA’s report contradicts the ambitions of the UK to become an attractive country to build technology businesses," Activision said in a statement. "We will work aggressively with Microsoft to reverse this on appeal. The report’s conclusions are a disservice to UK citizens, who face increasingly dire economic prospects. We will reassess our growth plans for the UK. Global innovators large and small will take note that - despite all its rhetoric - the UK is clearly closed for business."

Head over to our upcoming Xbox Series X games guide for a full look at all the games coming to Microsoft's new-gen console in the near future.

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.