The CMA has shared its interim findings, Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard has taken a significant step forward

While Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard is a global matter that requires review by anti-monopoly agencies in multiple countries, the main resistance comes from the UK’s CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) and the US’s FTC (Federal Trade Commission), with CMA being the more assertive of the two.

Since the beginning of the acquisition, CMA has expressed concerns about the potential monopoly that Microsoft’s Xbox may create in the UK game console market. This has led Microsoft to take a multifaceted approach, including legal means, to prove that its actions will not affect market competition. For example, Microsoft recently signed a 10-year agreement with companies like Nintendo on “Call of Duty.”

Microsoft's acquisition Activision Blizzard EU

Recently, CMA shared its latest interim investigation results. They believe that based on the new evidence, Microsoft will not benefit from the behavior of monopolizing the “Call of Duty” series on Xbox consoles and that continuing to offer “Call of Duty” on PlayStation will be beneficial for them. Therefore, this transaction will not affect the game console market in the UK.

However, CMA also stated that they will shift their investigation focus from game consoles to cloud gaming. Therefore, the relevant investigation will continue for some time, and they hope to complete it by the end of April. The final investigation report and conclusion will be released on April 26, 2023. Considering that Microsoft has recently signed a 10-year agreement with NVIDIA and a cloud gaming company named Boosteroid, similar to Nintendo’s “Call of Duty” agreement, this may lead CMA to make a favorable conclusion for Microsoft.

Overall, if players want to see past “Call of Duty” and Blizzard game titles on Xbox Game Pass, they may still have to wait longer.