September 30, 2023

Lower than one hour after Microsoft’s authorized victory towards the U.S Federal Commerce Fee (FTC) on Friday, the UK Competitors and Markets Authority (CMA) backtracked once more and mentioned that it might approve the software program big’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard extra shortly than beforehand anticipated. Which means Microsoft might now purchase the gaming agency with the CMA’s approval inside a number of weeks.

“The Inquiry Group goals to discharge its responsibility as quickly as doable and upfront of [the original August 29 date],” a CMA assertion reads. Individually, the CMA mentioned {that a} “detailed and sophisticated submission” from Microsoft, which incorporates concessions geared toward appeasing the regulatory physique, triggered the revised timetable.

Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard has been authorized by antitrust regulators all over the world, with solely the FTC and CMA selecting to dam the deal, each for nonsensical causes. However the CMA has appeared confused and adrift for the reason that FTC’s authorized challenges crumbled within the face of judicial evaluation, leaving it the one regulatory holdout on the planet.

As I’m certain you understand, Microsoft defeated the FTC final Tuesday, paving the way in which for its acquisition of Activision Blizzard. That day, the CMA mentioned that it had agreed to renegotiate its resolution towards Microsoft, although it later backtracked a bit by claiming that this may require a prolonged new investigation.

However then the FTC appealed its U.S. verdict, submitting an emergency movement to halt the transaction, and so the CMA issued a press release explaining that it might reevaluate its earlier resolution with no new investigation however would want till August 29 to take action. In the future later, nonetheless, the FTC misplaced once more, with a federal appeals court docket denying the FTC movement. And now now we have a brand new about-face from the UK regulators: the CMA will concern a brand new resolution as quickly as doable, most certainly inside a number of weeks.

This new resolution will nonetheless miss the July 18 deadline to which Microsoft and Activision had beforehand agreed. However given the timing, it’s clear that each events will merely prolong their deadline to accommodate the abruptly pliable CMA. And that Microsoft will announce its acquisition of Activision Blizzard as quickly because the CMA points its revised resolution.