UK government delays verdict on Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard by eight weeks

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

The U.K.'s Competition Market's Authority has delayed publishing its final report on Microsoft's Activision Blizzard acquisition by eight weeks.

Earlier today on January 5, the CMA published a statement (opens in new tab) in which it announced a delay to the final report on the acquisition. While previously slated to be published on March 1, the final report on Microsoft's proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard will now be published by the agency on April 26.

However, there's a chance the final report could be published ahead of this final deadline. The CMA stated in the report that it "aims to complete the inquiry as soon as possible and in advance of this date," so we could see the final verdict from the U.K. government agency prior to April 26.

Additionally, we may hear more from Activision Blizzard, Microsoft, and Sony in late February or early March 2023. Note the new statement from the CMA gives way to "response hearings" in the aforementioned window, but only if they're actually necessary and submitted from any parties.

As such, Microsoft and Sony could likely be arguing more over the coming weeks and months over the planned acquisition. We've already heard countless statements from both sides on the proposed acquisition, including Microsoft saying it would put Call of Duty on Nintendo devices for the next 10 years to demonstrate its willingness to cooperate with rivals in the industry.

Back on November 2022, Microsoft offered Sony a decade-long deal to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation platforms, although the latter apparently wasn't happy with the offer. 

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.