Canada is “continuing to monitor” the Activision deal, saying there are “factual inaccuracies” in Microsoft’s filings

Update 30/6/23: As legal proceedings brought by the US Federal Trade Commission have ended, Microsoft has responded to the Canadian report released last night by its Competition Bureau.

In short, Microsoft noted that Canada’s window to meaningfully respond to the agreement has now passed. Globally, only the US and the UK are opposed.

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

This week’s major court battle between the FTC and Microsoft is expected to decide the fate of the latter’s $68.7bn acquisition of Activision Blizzard – which has dragged on for more than a year now. A failure would see Microsoft crushed in its biggest market and on its own turf. Victory will see the deal end everywhere, but the UK – leaving Microsoft with various options to continue.

A decision on the FTC vs Microsoft trial is expected as soon as next week.


Original story 29/6/23:As Microsoft fights with the Federal Trade Commission in the US over its $69bn acquisition of Activision Blizzard, Canada has moved to deny the Xbox maker’s claims that the FTC is exempt from “except one” in its deal worldwide. He noted that Canada is still ‘monitoring the transaction’.

as The Verge reportedCanada’s Competition Bureau has written to Judge Corley, who is currently presiding over the FTC’s Activision Blizzard case in the US, to correct certain “factual errors” in Microsoft’s court filings.

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Microsoft told the court that “every global regulator that has reviewed the deal other than the FTC” has rejected the idea that the acquisition would remove Call of Duty from PlayStation if the acquisition goes through, and that all regulators have “agreed to withhold COD from Sony. It would be unprofitable, so it’s not a serious concern.” .” It also said it had approved the transaction “other than a foreign regulator” (ie the UK’s CMA).

News coverage: The biggest headlines this week are FTC vs Microsoft.

Canada’s Competition Bureau disagreed with those three points, however, writing to Judge Corley, “informing Canadian counsel for Microsoft and Activision that the Bureau has concluded that the proposed merger would substantially prevent and/or lessen competition in gaming consoles and multigame subscription services (as well as cloud gaming)”. It also noted that Microsoft told the company that “the agency is continuing to monitor the transaction.”

Many regulators around the world – including Europe – have approved Microsoft’s proposed deal. With a recent warning from the Canadian Competition Bureau that concerns about the takeover still remain, the US Federal Trade Commission is currently fighting in court to get an injunction to block the deal ahead of its own internal discussions with Microsoft.

In the UK, the Competition and Markets Commission blocked the acquisition, citing concerns surrounding the cloud gaming industry. Microsoft plans to appeal that decision in July.

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