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CMA’s Block on Activision-Blizzard Acquisition Is ‘Bad for Britain’, Says Microsoft President



Microsoft president Brad Smith has responded to the UK's Competition and Markets Authority block on the multi-billion dollar Activision-Blizzard acquisition, saying that it will be ‘bad for Britain'.

In the aftermath of UK regulators citing concerns over Microsoft's acquisition of Activision-Blizzard, Brad Smith, the media giant's president, has expressed nothing but disappointment, stating that the decision will be ‘bad for Britain'.

“We're of course very disappointed about the CMA's decision but more than that, unfortunately, I think it's bad for Britain,” Smith told BBC. “The strong message the CMA has sent is not just to surprise everyone who fully expected this acquisition to be approved, but to send a message that I think will discourage innovation and investment in the United Kingdom, and I think in that sense the impact of this decision is far broader than on Microsoft or on this acquisition alone.”

Clearly, Smith isn't too happy about the outcome, which could in turn lead to a loss of opportunities for the UK in later years. And while we can't say for certain what the repurcuisions will look like, it's fair to say that the relationship between Microsoft and the UK will no doubt take a turn for the worse.

‘The darkest day in our four decades in Britain…'

“Microsoft has been in the United Kingdom for 40 years and we play a vital role, not just supporting businesses and non-profits but even defending the nation from cyber-security threats,” said Smith. “But this decision, I have to say, is probably the darkest day in our four decades in Britain. It does more to shake our confidence in the future of the opportunity to grow a technology business in Britain than we've ever confronted before.”

To round out the interview with the BBC, Smith expressed, in a rather ominous tone to boot, “the European Union is a more attractive place to start a business than the United Kingdom.” Ouch.

Of course, this doesn't mean the deal is off the table altogether. And you can bet both Microsoft and Activision-Blizzard will be responding to the concerns at the earliest possible convenience. Until then, though, the spanner is well and truly wedged in the works.

Missed the memo? You can read why the CMA made the decision to block the acquisition here.


So, what's your take? Are you surprised by the CMA's decision to put a block on the acquisition? Let us know your thoughts over on our socials here.

Jord is acting Team Leader at If he isn't blabbering on in his daily listicles, then he's probably out writing fantasy novels or scraping Game Pass of all its slept on indies.