The Daily Telegraph - Saturday

Microsoft attacks ‘irrational’ CMA ruling

- By Matthew Field

MICROSOFT has accused Britain’s competitio­n authority of “irrational­ly” blocking its £55bn takeover of the Call

of Duty video game maker Activision. In its appeal against the Competitio­n and Market Authority’s (CMA) decision, Microsoft, which makes the Xbox games console, accused the regulator of making “fundamenta­l errors”.

Microsoft said in its filing with the Competitio­n Appeal Tribunal that the CMA had not taken “proper account of three long-term commercial agreements, which [Microsoft] had entered into” with cloud gaming companies. Microsoft has announced several decade-long deals with gaming companies to ensure their access to Call of Duty.

The CMA blocked Microsoft’s takeover of Activision in April, arguing it would stifle competitio­n in the growing market for streaming video games.

Following the decision, Brad Smith, the Microsoft president, hit out at the regulator and claimed the move sent a “clear message” that the EU was a more attractive place to start a business than Britain. Meanwhile, Activision, which also makes the mobile game Candy

Crush, accused the UK of being “closed for business”.

Since the CMA halted the merger, European officials have given the deal the green light. Sources in Brussels dismissed British concerns about the so-called cloud gaming market, arguing it accounts for a tiny fraction of the video games sector.

The call by regulators to block the deal has also sparked pushback from politician­s. Jeremy Hunt, the Chancellor, said he felt regulators needed to “understand their wider responsibi­lities for economic growth” after the deal was blocked.

A CMA spokesman said: “We prohibited this deal as we had concerns that it would reduce innovation and choice in the cloud gaming market in the UK.”

 ?? ?? Media scrum Kevin McCarthy, the Republican speaker of the House of Representa­tives, centre, briefs journalist­s in Washington on the raising of the US debt limit. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has now extended the debt ceiling deadline to June 5, as time grows short to avert a catastroph­ic default.
Media scrum Kevin McCarthy, the Republican speaker of the House of Representa­tives, centre, briefs journalist­s in Washington on the raising of the US debt limit. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has now extended the debt ceiling deadline to June 5, as time grows short to avert a catastroph­ic default.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom