Microsoft's Game Changing $75B Activision Blizzard Acquisition Runs Into A Snag

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Microsoft's attempt at acquiring Activision-Blizzard has had the brakes pumped, as an in-depth UK probe has been requested before finalizing the deal. The request comes after the tech giant was said to not offer any remedies to assuage competition concerns.

A report in the Financial Times says that Microsoft chose not to offer up any remedies to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) as of right now. The response is said to be due to the company believing there were no obvious commitments the UK regulator would likely accept, according to people with knowledge of the situation.

The CMA was the first global antitrust regulator to show concern over the acquisition, earlier this month. The regulator gave Microsoft five days to give remedies to the concerns or end up facing an extended "phase 2" probe.

Many of those involved are indicating they believe the software giant will face a long and drawn-out investigation surrounding its intent to buy Activision-Blizzard. Those familiar with how the EU's regulators normally operate believe they will take their time in order to fully examine the deal due to its size, the nature of the buyer, and concerns from rivals, such as Sony.

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Recently, Sony called Microsoft out as misleading the gaming industry and regulators about its commitment to keep fan favorite franchise Call of Duty on PlayStation consoles. Sony believes that Microsoft's current offer of guaranteeing access to the franchise for the next few years falls far short of what it should be.

"It is a big deal, a difficult deal," remarked someone in Brussels familiar with the transaction. "It needs an extensive investigation."

In Microsoft's defense, it has stated that it has no intention of keeping games like Call of Duty from other companies. Brad Smith, Microsoft's President and Vice-Chair, previously responded, "we want people to have more access to games, not less."

What are your thoughts on Microsoft acquiring Activision-Blizzard? Do you see it as a good thing for gamers? Should all deals of this nature undergo more scrutiny before being finalized? Let us know in the comments.