With just a bit underneath thirty days till Microsoft reaches the top of its prolonged buyout settlement with Activision Blizzard, the UK’s Competitors and Markets Authority appears to have gone radio silent on the place it stands with a evaluate of a brand new restructured acquisition.
Shortly after Microsoft notched a win over the US Federal Commerce Fee for its bid to accumulate Activision Blizzard by beating a preliminary injunction on the deal, the CMA, which beforehand denied the deal globally from transferring ahead, determined to rethink its place due to an enchantment to the UK’s Competitors Enchantment Tribunal.
When it appeared like Microsoft could have had life breathed again into its deal relating to UK markets full cease following scrutinization of the CMA’s unique dealing with of the evaluate, the corporate pitched a restructuring of its unique deal that will offload Activision’s cloud streaming licensing enterprise to Ubisoft.
Since proposing that Ubisoft change into the arbiter of Activision Blizzard’s streaming rights, the CMA has been uncharacteristically tight lipped on its ongoing re-review of Microsoft’s tweaked acquisition.
Luckily, somebody has been retaining tabs.
Journalist and resident on-line patents skilled Florian Mueller at @FOSSpatents has carried out a spectacular job of retaining readers abreast of the authorized minutia that’s been happening between Microsoft and the CMA in the course of the waning months of a re-review.
In a brand new thread on Mueller’s Twitter deal with (sure, I do know some folks now consult with it as X), he breaks down what’s transpired within the authorized morass of the deal over the previous few months as Microsoft approaches its elevated breakup payment deadline on this complete Activision bid subsequent month.
Within the UK it is September 18, i.e., just one month to go till the Microsoft-ActivisionBlizzard deadlines (the one within the UK continuing and the one underneath the prolonged merger settlement; no coincidence there).
It has been about 4 weeks because the modified deal was introduced.
— Florian Mueller (@FOSSpatents) September 18, 2023
Mueller goes on to clarify how the CAT considered the unique CMA evaluation of the deal to be off when the regulatory physique tried to argue console market hurt theories.
Moreover, he believes the re-review course of is a bit more than procedural endeavor since Microsoft seemingly has pitched an answer to the CMA’s principal concern relating to the deal and its results on the cloud streaming market.
With the CAT forcing the CMA to return to the drafting board to reassess Microsoft and Activision proposed acquisition, the CMA has now taken near 57 days to conclude its section 1 re-review, and lots of count on a ruling someday shortly earlier than the October 18, 2023 deadline, which if missed, would pressure Microsoft at hand over $4.5B in compensation to Activision for failing to wrap of its takeover in a well timed method.
With Microsoft divesting its curiosity in streaming licenses for Activision Blizzard titles, many thought that will be sufficient to appease the CMA and pressure a faster evaluate and resolution this time round however the regulatory physique appears content material to attract out its evaluate till the final minute or past.
With no additional publicized communications between the CMA and Microsoft, it merely stays a ready recreation for avid gamers as a $4.5B deadline inches nearer.