Last year, Microsoft initiated the biggest gaming acquisition in history while trying to acquire Activision Blizzard. However, the deal must be reviewed and approved by several legislators around the globe before it can be closed in Microsoft’s favor or against it. CMA (Competition & Markets Authority) is reviewing the huge merger in the UK.
However, the United Kingdom’s legislator has decided to shelve the deadline for the impending report for two more months. Microsoft Activision-Blizzard report was slated for a release in March, but Competition & Markets Authority has decided to postpone the statement on the proposed deal to April 26th following “special reasons.”
UK’s CMA has previously shown concerns regarding the depth of the $68.7 billion merger and is seeking to do a thorough investigation before giving the final say.
- CMA has delayed the deadline for its Microsoft Activision-Blizzard report by two months, from March to April 26th.
- CMA articulates that the report cannot be prepared and published within the “original reference period” because there are special reasons.
- Moreover, CMA may also inform of its provisional findings and possible remedies in late January or early February. The deadline for all involved parties’ responses will be in March.
- The special reasons include the “scope and complexity of the investigation,” and collecting a large amount of evidence and all submissions.
The inquiry group chair Martin Coleman elaborated on his decision to push the deadline for the Activision-Blizzard report by two months. Martin iterated that CMA “considers that there are special reasons why the report cannot be prepared and published within the original reference period.”
The document further dissects the whole situation and gives us the major reasoning behind why the deadlines have been pushed to April 26th. You can read the primary reasons for the postponement of the report down below:
In taking this decision, the Inquiry Group had regard to the scope and complexity of the investigation and the need to consider a large volume of evidence as well as main party and third party submissions, the necessity to allow sufficient time to take full and proper account of comments that will be received in response to the Inquiry Group’s provisional findings in due course and to reach a fully reasoned final decision in the statutory timeframe,” explained the chairman.
The new administrative timetable has been issued by the Competition & Markets Authority, where we can see the updated dates for the deadline concerning the investigation of the Microsoft Activision-Blizzard merger. The document reveals the phase 2 dates for all the future and past events of the ongoing analysis of the acquisition.
Competition & Markets Authority also seeks to inform them of its provisional findings and possible remedies to competitive parties it may still bear in late January or early February before continuing the response hearings. Moreover, the absolute deadline for all responses by the involved parties will be in March.
CMA has been analyzing the Microsoft Activision-Blizzard deal very carefully, and it has deeply considered the arguments of both parties by garnering evidence, administering queries, and holding hearings.
For instance, Microsoft and Sony submitted their debates earlier over indictments of anti-competitiveness about the deal. Sony earlier cited that the buyout will give Microsoft an unfair edge, and it is looking to intercept the deal by any means necessary. Microsoft has also offered its counterpoints to combat Sony’s argument.
CMA has gone as far as amassing public opinion in this predicament. Competition & Markets Authority obtained a total of 2,100 responses from the public which were greatly in approval of the deal. Reportedly over 75% of the public opinion stood in the favor of the Microsoft Activision-Blizzard buyout.
Microsoft has already received approval from a few countries, while some remain in the reviewing process. So far the giant company has gained consent in Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, and recently Chile. Approval for the deal is in the reviewing process in most major regions, namely the United States, the EU, the UK, and others.
The Activision-Blizzard acquisition is not possible until the immense merger is approved in around 17 more countries.
CMA appears to be in the favor of Sony so far, but the deal is still in the reviewing process in the UK. However, the odds are against the American giant overall, as the FTC recently sued to stop Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision-Blizzard.
What are your thoughts about United Kingdom’s Competition & Markets Authority extending the popular Microsoft Activision-Blizzard deal by two months? Do you think the reasons for extending the report concerning the acquisition are justified? Do let us know your opinions in the comments below.
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