Microsoft’s £55bn attempt to buy Call of Duty firm Activision blocked by UK watchdog

Microsoft’s attempt to buy Call of Duty developer Activision has been blocked by UK regulators. Credit: AP

Microsoft’s $68.7 billion (£55 billion) takeover of gaming firm Activision Blizzard has been blocked by the UK competition watchdog.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it has prevented the mammoth deal over concerns in the cloud gaming sector.

Xbox owner Microsoft struck a deal to buy the maker of Candy Crush and Call Of Duty in January 2022.

The deal was set to become the biggest video game acquisition in history.

Martin Coleman, chair of the independent panel of experts conducting the CMA investigation, said: “Microsoft already enjoys a powerful position and head start over other competitors in cloud gaming and this deal would strengthen that advantage, giving it the ability to undermine new and innovative competitors.

“Microsoft engaged constructively with us to try to address these issues and we are grateful for that, but their proposals were not effective to remedy our concerns and would have replaced competition with ineffective regulation in a new and dynamic market.”

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