NewsVideo Games

Regulators in the UK Vote to Block Microsoft / Activision Merger

The Activision Blizzard merger with Microsoft Xbox has had an official block by the UK. The CMA reasoning for it had to do with cloud gaming.

It has been over a year since we first heard the shocking news that Microsoft bought Activision Blizzard for almost $70 billion. During that time frame, the corporation has seen many wins and losses regarding the approval of the acquisition. While it has been approved in countries like Japan and Brazil, it has yet to be given the green light in the United States and the UK. Now, Microsoft and Xbox are facing their biggest hurdle: UK regulators have officially voted to block the merger with Activision.

The official details of the block were released in a press release (via Destructoid). The Competition and Markets Authority has halted the acquisition “over concerns the deal would alter the future of the fast-growing cloud gaming market.” It believes the partnership will lead to “reduced innovation and fewer choices for UK gamers over the years to come.”

Unsurprisingly, Microsoft will exercise its right to appeal the decision to block the merger with Activision in the UK. Microsoft president Brad Smith said, “We’re especially disappointed that after lengthy deliberations, this decision appears to reflect a flawed understanding of this market and the way the relevant cloud technology actually works.”

Due to this vote and the FTC officially blocking the merger, too, I doubt we’ll see the two companies combine anytime soon. Personally, I’m tired of hearing of all of this drama. Monopolies are never a good thing for consumers. And it should not take a partnership with Microsoft to force the dreaded Bobby Kotick out of Activision Blizzard.

About the author

Arthur Damian
Arthur Damian has been covering the video game industry for over ten years, and joined The Escapist in 2022. He is a huge fan of platformers, indies, and fighting games, and strives to cover them for The Escapist every chance he gets. Arthur received his Bachelor’s Degree in English from Brooklyn College in 2009. He is also the Editor-in-Chief over at That VideoGame Blog. When he isn’t writing, Arthur enjoys playing games on his Switch and PlayStation 5, and sings the praises of the greatest video game ever, Chrono Trigger, to anyone who will listen.