The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has set a deadline of 1 March 2023 for a ruling on its second phase of the current probe into Microsoft’s massive $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Concerns were originally raised when the UK competition watchdog launched its investigation earlier this year, especially considering how it might impact PlayStation’s ability to compete against Xbox should the deal go through.
As reported by Video Games Chronicle, the CMA has now set a 1 March 2023 deadline to publish the findings of its inquiry into Xbox’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard. A second phase of the investigation has now been launched and a decision will likely be made by that deadline. The group will “decide whether action should be taken by it, or by others, to remedy, mitigate, or prevent the substantial lessening of competition.”
If the CMA finds any of these steps insufficient, then it could block the deal entirely. However, it’s likely that the deal will go through smoothly despite these concerns. PlayStation’s Jim Ryan even took a trip to Brussels recently to plead a case against the acquisition. Xbox’s primary competitor certainly has strong feelings about the deal, previously rejecting Xbox’s proposed idea to keep Call of Duty multi-platform for a few more years, calling it “inadequate.”
The CMA also published a timetable detailing how the second phase of the investigation will work. It will gather information, issue questionnaires and meet with relevant parties over the next few months. The final deadline for all parties’ responses will be in February 2023. Thereafter, the CMA will compile and publish a final report on 1 March.
At almost $70 billion, Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, should it go through, will be the largest in gaming history. Xbox will have a plethora of studios and IPs to work with under Activision, including franchises like Call of Duty, Crash Bandicoot, Overwatch, Diablo, World of Warcraft and many more.
Source: Video Games Chronicle