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Statement on CMA Decision to Block Microsoft / Activision Merger Over Cloud Gaming Concerns

Decision meant to protect innovation and choice in cloud gaming marketplace

Apr 26, 2023

The following statement can be attributed to George Rakis, Executive Director for NextGen Competition (

The United Kingdom Competition Markets Authority's (CMA) decision to deny Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard is a win for gamers worldwide. Initially, the CMA was very concerned that the merger would result in significant antitrust issues and could lead to higher prices and fewer choices for consumers. And ultimately, that's precisely why they have ruled against Microsoft.

Citing Microsoft’s dominance in the cloud—and on the heels of antitrust referral from Ofcom—CMA wasn’t distracted by Microsoft’s glitzy ad campaign and its assortment of 10-year deals with some publishers. By narrowing its focus to the cloud, CMA found the deal would negatively alter the future of the fast-growing cloud gaming market. And the regulatory agency is right to be concerned.

It wasn't long ago that Microsoft acquired ZeniMax and almost immediately began making certain titles from ZeniMax's Bethesda studio exclusive to XBox. This situation contradicted Microsoft's arguments to the European Commission that it lacked the incentive to foreclose rival console manufacturers.

Microsoft has already shown us what it will do if this deal is allowed to progress. For the sake of consumers everywhere, we applaud the moves by CMA and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to examine this merger and urge them to remain committed to challenging the deal and the countless antitrust issues raised.

About NextGen Competition

Our mission is to support a robust and competitive technology ecosystem by opposing anti-competitive business practices and promoting greater industry accountability. Specifically, we oppose consolidation in the industry that undermines worker protections and employer accountability, threatens data privacy and security, encourages market concentration, and limits consumer choice. NextGen Competition intends to work with a broad coalition of unions and public interest partners as it seeks to oppose anti-competitive business practices.