While the UK’s CMA recently blocked the Activision Blizzard merger, the European Commission will reportedly decide to approve it next week.
That’s according to Reuters, which says the acquisition is expected to be clear due to Microsoft agreeing licensing deals with rivals in the cloud streaming market. These include Nvidia, Boosteroid, Ubitus, etc. It also plans to offer its games on more markets, such as Valve’s Steam storefront and Nintendo, all in a bid to reduce fears of a deal that stifles competition.
The commission has set a deadline of May 22 for its decision, although it is expected to make an announcement on May 15. If approved, it will join Japan, Ukraine, South Africa, Chile, Serbia, Saudi Arabia and Brazil. However, this still leaves the UK, something Microsoft and Activision are working to change.
The deal was blocked due to fears that Microsoft would monopolize cloud gaming, with the CMA even revealing that its normal practice would be to “prevent future mergers between the parties for the next ten years unless circumstances change”. The change could involve Sony’s expansion into the cloud, but in the meantime, the CMA says the only solution right now is to abandon the merger. If Microsoft takes this route, it will owe Activision a $3 billion “breakup fee,” which is no doubt part of the reason it’s standing its ground.
Activision said the CMA’s decision was “a disservice to UK citizens”. In the same statement, CCO Lulu Cheng Meservey said Activision and Microsoft would work “to reverse this on appeal”, adding that UK citizens “face an increasingly dire economic outlook”. as part of its defense. She argued that the merger would strengthen the UK economy. This didn’t work out as expected, as from the outside it simply looked like a billion dollar company trying to take advantage of the cost of living crisis to buy another billion dollar company.
While many argue it’s a good thing the deal was blocked, as the merger of two giant gaming corporations only makes the industry smaller and less competitive, EA CEO Andrew Wilson said he remains “indifferent” while gamers are unsurprisingly angry .
Xbox fans are flooding the CMA with responses on social media and spamming it in protest of its decision to block the merger. One commenter said: “I’m glad you’re looking for new staff. The people working there right now are clearly not up to it after giving Sony a big win to continue to dominate the console market.”
After all, these are corporations, and giving your ‘loyalty’ to one side or the other is like picking a fight with someone who prefers Burger King to McDonald’s. It doesn’t mean anything, you look stupid, and you’re both still making millions. Regardless, the situation is still evolving and we’ll be hearing about this merger for a few more months, and next week will be another major step toward its approval.
Next: You shouldn’t be looking forward to Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision