Brad Smith, Microsoft’s president, criticized the UK for preventing its acquisition of the US gaming company Activision and claimed that the European Union is a more favorable location for starting a business. He described the situation as “bad for Britain” and stated that this decision represents the company’s “darkest day” in its forty-year history of operating in the UK.
In response to Microsoft’s criticism, the UK regulator defended its decision, stating that its primary responsibility is to act in the best interest of the public rather than facilitating mergers driven by commercial interests. The decision effectively prevents the multi-billion dollar acquisition deal from going ahead globally.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the UK regulator responsible for assessing Microsoft’s bid to acquire Activision, stated that the decision to block the deal also affects its global implementation, as Activision operates in multiple interconnected markets.
While the US and EU regulators have yet to make a decision on the acquisition, the UK’s decision marks a significant setback for Microsoft.
Microsoft’s bid to acquire Activision for $68.7 billion (£55 billion) has been blocked by the UK regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The CMA said the deal could not go ahead globally as Activision was intertwined across different markets.
If approved, the deal would have been the gaming industry’s largest-ever acquisition, giving Microsoft ownership of major game titles such as Call of Duty, Candy Crush, and World of Warcraft. Microsoft and Activision both plan to appeal the CMA’s decision.
During an interview with the BBC’s Wake Up to Money program, Mr. Smith expressed Microsoft’s disappointment with the CMA’s decision and stated that it is not only concerning but also harmful to the UK. He also claimed that this decision sends a clear message to international investors regarding the UK’s investment climate.
Microsoft President, Brad Smith, expressed his disappointment with the Competition and Markets Authority’s decision to block the company’s bid to buy US gaming firm Activision, stating that it is “bad for Britain” and has severely damaged confidence in the UK technology sector.
He believes that this decision sends a clear message that the European Union is a more attractive place to start a business.
The Prime Minister’s spokesperson contradicted Mr. Smith’s statement, stating that his claims about the CMA’s decision being bad for Britain and the EU being a better place to do business are not supported by the facts. The spokesperson pointed out that the UK’s games sector has doubled in size over the past decade.
Approval from regulators in the UK, the US, and the EU is necessary for the Microsoft-Activision deal to go ahead. The UK government will continue to engage with Microsoft, although the CMA is an independent body.
The US Federal Trade Commission challenged the takeover last year, while the EU regulators delayed their decision in March after Microsoft proposed concessions.
Source : bbc.com