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Microsoft boss slams UK regulators for sabotaging deal with Activision: ‘Darkest day’

Microsoft president Brad Smith has criticized UK regulators for announcing they would block Xbox’s proposed $68.7 billion takeover of Activision Blizzard.speak to BBC, Smith said the decision represented Microsoft’s “darkest day” in more than 40 years in the UK. I was. He said the UK regulator was not elected and held accountable, but he hoped EU leaders would be more willing to come to the negotiating table and engage in dialogue to complete the deal. said there is. CMA officials reacted to Smith’s comments and disagreed on many points.

“Of course I am very disappointed with the CMA’s decision, but more than that, I think it is unfortunately bad for the UK,” said Smith, who represented Microsoft and hoped the deal would go ahead. “The global business community, the investment community and the technology sector are watching the issue, and the strong message sent by the CMA is that the acquisition is approved.” Not only will it surprise everyone who fully expected it, but in that sense, I think the ramifications of this decision are much broader than just Microsoft or this acquisition alone.”

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Asked about the impact of the deal breakdown on the UK, Smith said it has shaken confidence in the business community and cast doubt on the CMA’s leadership.

The CMA ruled against the deal primarily because of concerns about cloud gaming rather than concerns about Call of Duty or console exclusivity. Smith said the CMA’s allegations were based on “a false and erroneous understanding of the market” and based on “potential concerns” rather than actual concerns.

Smith said the current UK cloud gaming market is “very small”, adding that Microsoft’s server network in the UK does not allow more than 5,000 concurrent users.

“And for regulators to step in and try to undermine a $68 billion global deal out of concerns about some of the very small businesses, rejecting so many proposals to try and address their concerns. , I think it unsettles people.In fact, people think the process in Brussels worked much better than what we’re working on right now in London,” he said.

Microsoft has been in the UK for 40 years, working with for-profit and non-profit companies and supporting government in many ways. However, based on this decision by the CMA, Microsoft sees the UK’s future as not as bright as it once was.

“I have to say that this decision is probably our darkest day in 40 years in the UK. said Smith.

Smith went on to tell the group that he believes Microsoft has answered all questions from the CMA panel and should be contacted if they have any further questions. Smith, however, claims the CMA panel has been “silenced.”

Smith also referred to the EU capital of Brussels, where regulators were open to having “more conversations” about the pending Activision Blizzard deal. Smith went on to say that the EU is a more attractive place to do business than the UK. Asked if Smith had a message for UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Smith said the leader would take a closer look at his CMA and help Britain create investment, jobs and innovation in the region. He said he needed to question whether the organization had made the right decision because of this.

“People are shocked, people are disappointed and people’s trust in UK technology is greatly shaken,” Smith said.

CMA Chief Executive Sarah Cardell was also quoted in the article, saying she disagrees with Smith on many points. She believes the UK is “fully open for business” and the decision to block the deal was made to prevent Microsoft from continuing to expand its strong position in the cloud gaming market. Cardell said the deal, if approved, could undermine the ability of new competition and limit innovation in the cloud gaming space.

The CMA blocked the Activision Blizzard deal, but the case isn’t over.Microsoft is already in the process of appealing and dealing, and could offer remedies such as: We’re removing Activision Blizzard games from Game Pass in the UK and keeping Game Pass prices down for the long term. Outside the UK, the EU is due to make a decision by May 22nd, and in the US, the FTC’s first evidence hearing is scheduled for August 2023.

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