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July 6, 2022

UK government department launch investigation into Microsoft's Activision Blizzard acquisition

As reported by CNBCthe Competition and Markets Authority, a British government organization that advocates for fair competition, is investigating Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

The CMA is attempting to determine how the acquisition could potentially affect competition in the game industry, including evidence of “higher prices, lower quality, or reduced choice” for consumers that could appear as a result of the deal. The organization's initial decision is due by Sept. 1, after which it will either declare the deal clean or launch a phase two investigation if evidence of consumer harm is present.

After the announcement Microsoft shared a statement with IGN revealing that it plans to cooperate with the CMA's investigation. Corporate vice president and general counsel Lisa Tanzi said the company is willing to answer questions and submit to reviews from regulators like the CMA.

"We have been clear about how we plan to run our gaming business and why we believe the deal will benefit gamers, developers, and the industry," Tanzi said.

The CMA is not the only organization investigating the acquisition. The United States Federal Trade Commission has been running its own investigation with a focus on how it would affect workers at both companies. Activision-Blizzard was recently in the news for Raven Software's creation of the first game workers' union in the US, which Microsoft has pledged to recognize.

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