The CMA had some words for the European Commission's (EU) recent seal of approval to Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard. On Twitter, the UK regulator acknowledged that while it understood and respected the EU's choice to "take a different view, the CMA stands by its decision."
Earlier on Monday, the EU let the merger go through on account of Microsoft's multiple deals related to cloud games and Call of Duty that would individually last for a decade. But the CMA argued that those deals made would "allow Microsoft to set the terms and conditions for this market for the next 10 years."
With its statement, the CMA suggests that the EU has been deceived. Or that, at the very least, the EU may be have been misinformed about the potential of cloud gaming in the years to come.
"Microsoft's proposals...would replace a free, open and competitive market with one subject to ongoing regulation of the games Microsoft sells, the platforms to which it sells them, and the conditions of sale," it continued.
The CMA says no
Last month, the CMA rejected the merger largely on the worry that the Xbox maker would have a large foothold in the cloud market, particularly for European players. Just before the weekend started, an interim ban was placed on Microsoft and Activision Blizzard to stop them from conducting more deals without CMA approval.
For the CMA, cloud gaming appears to be a true sticking point with this merger. In its Twitter thread, it reaffirmed its belief that "cloud gaming needs to continue as a free, competitive market to drive innovation and choice in this rapidly evolving sector."
The UK, US and European competition authorities are unanimous that this merger would harm competition in cloud gaming.— Competition & Markets Authority (@CMAgovUK) May 15, 2023
The CMA concluded that cloud gaming needs to continue as a free, competitive market to drive innovation and choice in this rapidly evolving sector.