CMA Decides To Refer Microsoft/Activision Blizzard Deal For Phase 2 Investigation

The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) on Thursday decided to refer the proposed acquisition by Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (ATVI) for a phase 2 investigation.

CMA is concerned that the deal could substantially lessen competition in gaming consoles, multi-game subscription services, and cloud gaming services within a market or markets in the United Kingdom.

Microsoft and Activision had until September 8 to offer an undertaking to address the CMA's concerns that may be accepted by the CMA. However, Microsoft informed the CMA on September 6 that it would not be offering any undertakings. The CMA had stated then that the deal will be referred for a Phase 2 investigation If suitable proposals are not submitted.

The CMA had launched its merger inquiry on 6 July 2022 and had a deadline of 1 September 2022 for its phase 1 decision.

In January, Microsoft agreed to acquire Activision Blizzard for $95.00 per share, in an all-cash deal valued at $68.7 billion, inclusive of Activision Blizzard's net cash.

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