Microsoft‘s planned acquisition of Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion suffered a major setback when the UK’s antitrust watchdog vetoed the deal. The decision has raised concerns about the future of the deal and its potential impact on the gaming industry. However, Microsoft executives have moved to reassure employees in the Xbox gaming unit that the company is still committed to the acquisition and that there are other ways to move forward in the gaming sector.
At an all-hands meeting for division employees, Microsoft gaming chief Phil Spencer acknowledged the disappointment caused by the UK’s decision. However, he emphasized that the acquisition was intended to accelerate Microsoft’s gaming plans, but it doesn’t represent the entirety of the company’s gaming strategy. He reassured workers that Microsoft’s gaming success is not solely dependent on the deal, and the company will move ahead even without Activision.
During the meeting, Spencer shared that Microsoft President Brad Smith was up at 2 a.m. Seattle time Wednesday drafting a response to the UK Competition and Markets Authority. He also mentioned that Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood, who oversees acquisitions, held a senior leadership meeting the same day. These actions demonstrate Microsoft’s commitment to pursuing the acquisition despite the setback.
The UK’s antitrust watchdog has stated that concerns about the deal cannot be resolved by remedies such as selling the blockbuster title Call of Duty or other solutions involving promises to permit rivals to offer the game on their platforms. Microsoft has said it will appeal the decision and explore other options to move forward with the acquisition.
Despite the setback, Microsoft’s commitment to the gaming sector remains strong. The company has a history of investing in gaming and has made significant strides in the industry. In recent years, Microsoft has acquired several gaming companies, including Bethesda, and has launched the Xbox Game Pass, a subscription service that offers access to hundreds of games.
The acquisition of Activision Blizzard would have given Microsoft access to some of the biggest franchises in gaming, including Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Candy Crush. It would have also given the company a significant foothold in the mobile gaming market.
While the UK’s decision is undoubtedly a setback for Microsoft, the company’s gaming success is not solely dependent on the acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Microsoft’s commitment to the gaming industry remains unwavering, and the company will explore other ways to achieve its goals. Despite the challenges, the future of gaming at Microsoft looks bright, and employees can rest assured that the company will continue to invest in the sector.