Microsoft looking into Activision deal changes in UK to appease regulator

Microsoft looking into Activision deal changes in UK to appease regulator

Tech giant Microsoft is apparently looking into ways it can change its acquisition of Activision Blizzard to get the nod from the UK competition regulator.

In a statement to, the Big M's president Brad Smith said that the company was "considering" how to change the deal in order to appease the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

"After today's court decision in the US, our focus now turns back to the UK," Smith said.

"While we ultimately disagree with the CMA’s concerns, we are considering how the transaction might be modified in order to address those concerns in a way that is acceptable to the CMA.

"In order to prioritise work on these proposals, Microsoft and Activision have agreed with the CMA that a stay of the litigation in the UK would be in the public interest and the parties have made a joint submission to the Competition Appeal Tribunal to this effect."

The CMA, meanwhile, has issued a statement saying that Microsoft and Activision are welcome to try to change the deal, any alterations will trigger a new investigation into the merger.

“Whilst merging parties don’t have the opportunity to put forward new remedies once a final report has been issued, they can choose to restructure a deal, which can lead to a new merger investigation," a CMA spokesperson said.

"Microsoft and Activision have indicated that they are considering how the transaction might be modified, and the CMA is prepared to engage with them on this basis. These discussions remain at an early stage and the nature and timing of next steps will be determined in due course.

"While both parties have requested a pause in Microsoft's appeal to allow these discussions to take place, the CMA decision set out in its final report still stands.”

This follows the FTC's attempt to block Microsoft's purchase of Activision Blizzard in the United States failing

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.