Top NewsActivision is asking for global controllers with the Blizzard...

Activision is asking for global controllers with the Blizzard patch, Canada is not accepting


Despite Xbox announcing that its proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard has the backing of global regulators, Canada’s regulatory agency has come out publicly and said it does not support the deal.

In a letter, Canadian Competition Bureau lawyer Jonathan Bitron wrote to Microsoft lawyers Beth Wilkinson and Bombo Obaro to address some “factual errors” in a court document submitted during an evidentiary hearing between the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Microsoft. Referring to Microsoft’s announcement that Microsoft is in “every global regulatory group” with Microsoft buying Activision Blizzard.

In a video conference on May 5, 2023, contrary to the above quotations from the memorandum, the Bureau informed Microsoft and Activision’s Canadian counsel that the Bureau had concluded that the proposed merger would result in substantial deterrence and/or reduction. “The Bureau continues to monitor competition and transaction related to gaming consoles and multigame subscription services (as well as cloud gaming),” Pitron wrote.

“We have received notice from the Canadian Competition Bureau that Activision will continue to monitor our acquisition of Blizzard after the expiration of the formal waiting period preventing the deal from closing,” a Microsoft spokesperson told IGN in a statement. “We continue to work with regulators around the world to address any remaining concerns.”

The document Bitron refers to is a memorandum submitted on June 16 before the trial began. In the document, Microsoft said each “other” FTC around the world and the UK’s Competition Authority (CMA) supported the deal. The former is currently suing Microsoft to block the deal from happening, while the latter voted to block the deal a few months ago.

The Canadian Competition Bureau’s report is a blow to Xbox’s claim that the FTC and CMA are outliers in opposing the Activision Blizzard deal. To date, Xbox has gained traction in markets including Europe and Japan, but is under scrutiny elsewhere.

Microsoft is currently appealing the CMA’s decision and is scheduled for a hearing on July 28 Tom Warren of The Virgin pointed out Yesterday, the CMA tried to delay the appeal hearing from July to October, but was unsuccessful.

Meanwhile, we’re in the fourth day of an evidentiary hearing between the FTC and Microsoft, the outcome of which will determine the future of Microsoft’s proposed deal to buy Activision Blizzard. If you want to know more about the ongoing testing, check out our daily roundups. If you want a more in-depth look at previous test days, check out our Day One, Day Two, Day 3 and Day 4 analysis sections.

Editor’s note: The story has been updated to include Microsoft’s statement.

Taylor is a reporter at IGN. You can follow her on Twitter @TayNixter.

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