Microsoft’s $69 Billion Activision Deal Could Harm UK Gamers, Watchdog Finds

Microsoft Corp.’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard Inc. will harm competition in the UK gaming market, Britain’s antitrust watchdog has provisionally found.

The Competition and Markets Authority said it had taken an initial view that the deal could result in a substantial lessening in competition, higher prices, fewer choices or less innovation for UK gamers, according to a statement published Wednesday.

Microsoft first announced the Activision deal last year, looking to add blockbuster games like Call of Duty to a business that already includes the Xbox console, the Halo franchise and Minecraft world-building software. But the tie-up has fallen foul of global regulators who fear that Microsoft could make it harder for rival platforms to get unfettered access to Activision’s most popular titles.

The CMA may now ask Microsoft for remedies to clear the deal.

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