Microsoft's Activision Blizzard acquisition moves forward as FTC fumbles and CMA crumbles thanks to Call of Duty commitments
With both the FTC in the USA and the CMA in the UK regarding Microsoft’s desired acquisition of Activision Blizzard as a possibly anti-competitive proposal, a federal judge for the Northern District of California has offered up an opposing view, by stating:
For the reasons explained, the Court finds the FTC has not shown a likelihood it will prevail on its claim this particular vertical merger in this specific industry may substantially lessen competition. To the contrary, the record evidence points to more consumer access to Call of Duty and other Activision content.
Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley both denied the FTC’s request and dismissed the case in a conclusion that was published as part of a redacted version of the FTC vs. Microsoft filing. In addition to being satisfied that users would receive greater rather than lesser access to games, Corey also pointed out the commitment that current and future Sony PlayStation platforms and Nintendo Switch devices would see Call of Duty titles made available for them despite Microsoft being a rival.
With the FTC fumbling with its attempted injunction, it appears the UK’s CMA may have crumbled in the face of the recent decision. According to a tweet from Microsoft’s Brad Smith, a new agreement has been made between the tech giant and the regulatory body to presumably facilitate an advantageous decision that would allow Microsoft to almost sweep the board of governmental agencies around the world that it has had to confront for this controversial acquisition attempt.
Our statement on the mutual request with the CMA for a pause of our appeal in the UK: pic.twitter.com/8Aky2IJjxS— Brad Smith (@BradSmi) July 11, 2023