By Ian Walker


The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority said Friday that new evidence provisionally alleviates its previous concerns over the supply of gaming consoles in the U.K. and it has therefore narrowed the scope of its investigation into Microsoft Corp.'s planned $75 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard Inc.

The regulator said its previously stated views that the deal raises concerns in cloud gaming is unchanged.

In February, the CMA said it had provisionally found that Microsoft's proposed acquisition of "Call of Duty" owner Activision Blizzard could lead to higher prices, fewer choices, or less innovation for U.K. gamers.

For consoles, the regulator found that a small number of key games, including "Call of Duty," play an important role in driving competition between consoles, the CMA said at the time. The evidence indicates Microsoft may also benefit from making the content exclusive, a strategy that has been used by Microsoft previously.

The regulator said Friday that overall, the deal wouldn't lead to a substantial lessening of competition over console gaming in the U.K.

"The CMA's addendum to its provisional findings today relates only to competition in the supply of consoles and not to competition in the supply of cloud gaming services, where the CMA is continuing to carefully consider the responses provided in relation to the original provisional findings," it said.

The deadline to make its final report is unchanged at April 26.


Write to Ian Walker at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 24, 2023 08:39 ET (12:39 GMT)

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