A while back Microsoft made a move to acquire Activision, for a mind bending sum of $68.7 billion. Sadly for Microsoft, regulators around the world are starting to get getting worried about tech monopolies.
And there’s good reason for it too, just these four companies, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google have a combined net market worth of around $4 trillion. This gives these giants enormous buying power, and they can easily choose to outbid other players. This ultimately hurts competition in the long run.
The U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority reportedly had an “issues meeting” with Microsoft (MSFT) to express its worries about a transaction with ATVI, according to traders, who cited a Capitol Forum report circulating.
So far things were smooth for Microsoft, and Saudi Arabia’s market regulators even signed off on the deal. But recently U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority expressed to Microsoft it’s concerns over the transaction, and they could potentially ask for more time to review the entire deal.
U.K.’s CMA opened the investigation into Microsoft’s Activision acquisition deal last month, and they wanted to review if this transaction could harm competition and lead to worse outcomes for consumers. The CMA set a deadline of September 1st to give an initial decision, but now they might push this date further.
Even the US’s Federal Trade Commission was reviewing the acquisition deal from February this year. Although after several months of talks, and some compromises from Microsoft, the deal was expected to be approved sometime this month. The FTC approval would be a big win for Microsoft, but the recent investigation from U.K.’s CMA could further delay the acquisition.
As for Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s chief executive officer of gaming, he seems confident of the deal going through, recently stating in an interview “I’ve never done a 70 billion-dollar deal, so I don’t know what my confidence means, I will say the discussions we’ve been having seem positive.“