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UK competition regulator sets deadline for investigation into Microsoft's proposed Activision Blizzard deal

The Competition and Markets Authority is currently looking into the potential risks of the seismic acquisition.

UK competition regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), has set a statutory deadline of March 1, 2023, to publish its final report into the potential risks of Microsoft's purchase of Activision Blizzard.

Earlier this year, the CMA said the proposed deal could harm Microsoft's rivals, adding that its concerns warranted an in-depth "Phase 2" investigation into the seismic $68.7 billion acquisition.

"Following our Phase 1 investigation, we are concerned that Microsoft could use its control over popular games like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft post-merger to harm rivals, including recent and future rivals in multi-game subscription services and cloud gaming," said Sorcha O’Carroll, senior director of mergers at the CMA, at the time.

The CMA then invited Microsoft and Activision Blizzard to submit proposals addressing its concerns before the Phase 2 investigation kicked off to allow a panel of independent experts to "probe in more depth the risks identified at Phase 1."

Now, the CMA has confirmed that a report detailing the findings of its Phase 2 investigation will be published no later than March 1, 2023, and has set a final deadline of February 2023 for all parties to submit their final responses.

The CMA will reveal its provisional findings and potential remedies to Activision Blizzard and Microsoft in January 2023, allowing both companies to "consider possible remedies and response hearings."

You can see the full administrative timetable for the CMA's ongoing Phase 2 investigation into the merger over on the UK government website.

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