CMA provisionally concludes Activision Blizzard deal will not harm competition, though investigation continues

Robert Collins

UK CMA Office Logo

It appears as though the Activision Blizzard deal has moved one step closer to finalization, as the CMA has updated its provisional assessment of the deal.

In a press release posted today, the UK regulator cited “a significant amount of new evidence in response to its original provisional findings,” in what appears to be a shift toward favoring the merger. According to the chairman of the independent investigation panel Martin Coleman,

Having considered the additional evidence provided, we have now provisionally concluded that the merger will not result in a substantial lessening of competition in console gaming services because the cost to Microsoft of withholding Call of Duty from PlayStation would outweigh any gains from taking such action.

It begs the question what this “new evidence” was that precipitated this finding, and whether Microsoft’s recent announcements regarding bringing Call of Duty to other platforms (specifically cloud gaming services Boosteroid and Ubitus) played a part in assuaging the CMA’s concerns.

It’s important to note that today’s announcement is merely an addendum to the regulator’s ongoing analysis of the potential merger between Microsoft and Activision. The CMA’s investigation continues as it weighs the merger’s potential impact on other aspects of the gaming industry such as the nascent cloud gaming market, and other factors. The CMA has until April 26 to issue its final report.

Via The Verge