The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has imposed new restrictions on Microsoft and Activision Blizzard after banning the $68.7 billion deal. The two companies are now not allowed to acquire shares in each other.

CMA bans Microsoft and Activision from acquiring stakes in each other

  • The CMA announced the restrictions in a new interim order published on May 11. According to the document, Microsoft and Activision Blizzard can’t acquire an interest in each other or any of their subsidiaries without “prior written consent” from the regulator.
  • On top of that, the two companies must not buy stakes in enterprises holding an interest in each of them.
  • The restrictions were made for the purpose of ” preventing pre-emptive action” from Microsoft and Activision Blizzard.
  • This means Microsoft won’t be able to invest in Blizzard or King, and Activision won’t be able to invest in, say, Xbox Game Studios.
  • “We remain firmly committed to this deal and look forward to presenting our case to the Competition Appeal Tribunal,” a Microsoft spokesperson told BBC News.

The CMA was the first regulator to rule on Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard, blocking it due to the potential threat to the cloud gaming market. The agency also noted that it could ban a future merger between the companies for the next 10 years, “absent a change of circumstances.”

The European Commission, which is also investigating the $68.7 billion deal, is expected to make a ruling next week. Despite many concerns, a recent report claimed that the regulator may eventually approve the acquisition.

However, Microsoft is still facing an antitrust lawsuit in the US filed by the Federal Trade Commission. An evidentiary hearing is scheduled for August 2.

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