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Microsoft's Activision Blizzard Deal Encounters UK Watchdog Scrutiny

The U.K.'s leading consumer regulatory organization, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), announced on Wednesday that it's looking into the pending acquisition of Activision Blizzard Inc by Microsoft.

In a tweet, the U.K. regulator confirmed that it would be looking into the details of the merger for any anti-consumer issues. "We'll consider if gamers could end up paying higher prices, with less choice or lower quality," read the tweet.

The CMA said it is setting a deadline of Sept. 1 for its initial decision and is inviting public comments on the matter until July 20. Depending on its findings, it will either conclude its investigation on Sept. 1 or expand the scope to a more in-depth analysis following the initial deadline.

In a statement to Reuters, Lisa Tanzi, corporate vice president and general counsel of Microsoft, said the company is willing to fully cooperate in the CMA's investigation.

"We're committed to answering questions from regulators and ultimately believe a thorough review will help the deal close with broad confidence, and that it will be positive for competition," said Tanzi in an e-mailed statement.

Activision Blizzard has yet to comment on the CMA's investigation.

This isn't the only governmental watchdog group taking a closer look at the proposed $68.7 billion gaming acquisition. Both the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission are looking into the blockbuster deal.

Microsoft said it hopes the deal will be finalized sometime in fiscal year 2023. The company foresees the deal, which is the largest video game acquisition in history, bolstering its gaming portfolio and growing its metaverse plans.

About the Author

Chris Paoli (@ChrisPaoli5) is the associate editor for Converge360.

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