Game on, Brussels says, as the European Commission approves Microsoft-Activision Blizzard deal

Game on, Brussels says, as the European Commission approves Microsoft-Activision Blizzard deal

SARAH CARDELL: Defended CMA’s opposal to Microsoft-Activision Blizzard merger Photo credit: CC/British Government

THE European Commission (EC) gave the go-ahead to Microsoft’s $69 billion (€63.21 billion) merger with Call of Duty maker Activision Blizzard.

Brussels made the proviso that Microsoft had to ensure that Activision’s game catalogue was freely available on other cloud game-streaming providers over the next 10 years.

The decision was announced weeks after the merger was blocked by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), whose chief executive Sarah Cardell defended the watchdog’s earlier decision.

It was not her intention to create a hostile environment for businesses in the UK, Cardell told MPs a day after the European Commission approved the merger.

The CMA wanted to “create and support” the best conditions for competition, enabling companies big and small to thrive, she insisted.

The European regulators said the commitments offered by Microsoft and Activision to maintain competition provided significant benefits for competition and consumers.

Meanwhile, Microsoft’s vice-chairman Brad Smith referred to the UK’s “unaccountable” regulator, maintaining that the English Channel had never seemed wider for attracting businesses.

“There’s a clear message here, the EU is a more attractive place to start a business than the UK,” Smith declared.

“Global innovators will take note that, despite all its rhetoric, the UK is clearly closed for business,” Smith had said following the CMA’s decision to block in April.

Microsoft and Activision are currently setting up legal team to challenge the UK ruling, although in the US, the Federal Trade Commission is also taking steps to block the merger with a court hearing set for August.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at