Canadian regulator and Microsoft butt heads over Activision deal

Canadian regulator and Microsoft butt heads over Activision deal

The Canadian Competition Bureau (CCB) and Microsoft are at odds over the country's stance on the company's purchase of Activision Blizzard.

That's according to The Verge, which reports that the CCB's stance on the acquisition was revealed during the FTC v Microsoft hearing. The Xbox firm is claiming in its case against the FTC that "every single worldwide regulator that has examined the deal other than the FTC" – something that appears to not be the case.

The Canadian Competition Bureau seemingly believes that the deal will harm competition in the console and subscription service space and has said as much in a letter to Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley, who is presiding over proceedings.

"Contrary to the foregoing quotations from the Memorandum, in a videoconference on May 5, 2023, the Bureau communicated to Microsoft and Activision’s Canadian counsel that the Bureau has concluded that the proposed merger is likely to result in a substantial prevention and/or lessening of competition with respect to gaming consoles and multigame subscription services (as well as cloud gaming), and that the Bureau is continuing to monitor the transaction," the Canadian regulator wrote.

Microsoft, however, believes that the CCB has passed the deadline by which it could block the deal from occurring.

"We received notice from the Canada Competition Bureau that it would continue to monitor our acquisition of Activision Blizzard after the formal waiting period preventing the deal to close expired," Microsoft spokesperson Rebecca Dougherty said.

"We continue to work with regulators around the world to address any remaining concerns."

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.