The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has updated its provisional findings related to Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Due to new evidence, the regulator has narrowed the scope of its concerns.
In a new statement, the CMA said it changed its mind after receiving a”significant amount of new evidence.” In a departure from its original stance, the regulator now believes that the $68.7 billion deal “will not result in a substantial lessening of competition in relation to console gaming in the UK.”
The CMA added that new data indicates that Microsoft won’t try to make Call of Duty and other Activision games exclusive to its platform. “The updated analysis now shows that it would not be commercially beneficial to Microsoft to make CoD exclusive to Xbox following the deal, but that Microsoft will instead still have the incentive to continue to make the game available on PlayStation,” the text reads.
The regulator released its provisional findings in February, as part of its in-depth investigation into the Activision Blizzard acquisition. Despite the latest update, other concerns related to Microsoft’s cloud gaming and subscription business remain unaffected.
It is worth noting that Microsoft also rejected the regulator’s proposal to divest the Call of Duty IP from the deal, continuing to argue that the Activision Blizzard acquisition will protect gamers and boost competition in the video game market.
The CMA has until April 26 to release its final report on the merger.
In addition to this investigation, Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard is also subject to regulatory scrutiny in the US and EU. Last week, the European Commission delayed its final ruling to May 22, and the US Federal Trade Commission recently requested more documents from Microsoft as it prepares for an antitrust trial on August 2.