Microsoft President Claims CMA Was “Tough And Fair” Over Activision Deal

He has changed his stance regarding the UK regulator.

Story Highlights

  • Microsoft President Brad Smith has recently claimed that CMA was “tough and fair” over the Activision deal.
  • The president previously claimed that the EU was better for business than the UK while criticizing the CMA.
  • Brad says he has learned a lot and would use “slightly different words” while raising concerns against the CMA.

The relationship between Microsoft and The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) grew increasingly strained over the last year. As spotted by The Verge, Microsoft President Brad Smith has recently claimed that the UK regulator was “tough and fair” over the Activision deal. Brad said that he has “certainly learned a lot personally” over the past few months while speaking to the BBC Radio 4 Today Program—the page has since been deleted. 

The CMA held to a tough standard and I respect that. In my view it was tough and fair. It pushed Microsoft to change the acquisition that we had proposed for Activision Blizzard, to spin out certain rights that the CMA was concerned about with respect to cloud gaming,” said Brad in the program.

Brad acknowledges that he would prefer to use different words to raise issues he did while the acquisition with Blizzard was still underway. CMA had asked for a plethora of changes to be made in the deal to ensure there were no concerns left related to cloud gaming. The UK regulator denied the merger because of these concerns in the past, while many other countries approved it ahead of time.

I wouldn’t step back necessarily from all of the concerns I raised when I talked way back in April, but I might choose slightly different words to make my point.”

As a result, the company president held an opposing stance against the CMA because of its resistance to the Activision Blizzard buyout. The UK regulator had given tough competition to the giant conglomerate. Towards the climax, CMA even blocked the merger from the UK for the next ten years, which caused many hindrances before the deal could finally be closed during the late part of 2023.

The president was furious after CMA had blocked the buyout from going through in the UK, claiming that “the European Union is a more attractive place to start a business than the United Kingdom” in a statement issued to BBC. All in all, his recent remarks are related to these prior statements. Microsoft has since worked out the differences with the CMA by changing the terms for the acquisition. 

Related Content:

Microsoft’s $68.7 million deal with Activision Blizzard was completed after a myriad of modifications and discussions with official regulators across the globe. Now, the company owns many new IPs under its umbrella, including Call of Duty and Candy Crush.

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The Verge

Shameer Sarfaraz is a Senior News Writer on eXputer who loves to keep up with the gaming and entertainment industries devoutly. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science and several years of experience reporting on games. Besides his passion for breaking news stories, Shahmeer loves spending his leisure time farming away in Stardew Valley. VGC, IGN, GameSpot, Game Rant, TheGamer, GamingBolt, The Verge, NME, Metro, Dot Esports, GameByte, Kotaku Australia, PC Gamer, and more have cited his articles.

Experience: 4+ Years || Education: Bachelor in Computer Science.

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