Activision Blizzard, the company behind Call of Duty, said that the UK was “closed for business” after the competition watchdog rejected Microsoft’s attempt to acquire it, which would have been the biggest takeover in video game history.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) blocked the $68.7 billion (£55 billion) cash acquisition due to worries that it would stifle the cloud gaming sector, prompting vehement opposition from both parties to the agreement. Activision Blizzard promised to “reassess our growth plans for the UK,” while Microsoft stated it would “discourage technology innovation and investment in the UK.”
The British CMA published a 400-page document in its entirety last year to oppose the acquisition of Activision Blizzard, but it has obviously not been made public until now: Microsoft would make at least one unsuccessful attempt to acquire a mobile game publisher.
The acquisition attempt) was made at a specific time; however, the discussions have not yet taken place for an unidentified cause. The paper doesn’t list names, but there are just a couple of suspects—Zynga and Rovio—on Reddit and ResetERA.
In 2022, the mammoth T2 Interactive purchased Zynga. In addition to FarmVille, Cafe World, Gang Wars, CSR Racing, Empires & Puzzles, Harry Potter puzzles & Spells, Words With Friends, and Zynga Poker, it was owned by Take-Two. The second possibility is Rovio, which SEGA purchased for 706 million dollars, which is not a particularly high sum for the European publisher who rose to fame thanks to the Angry Birds craze and whose intellectual property will soon be transferred to Japan.
Activision Blizzard and Microsoft concur. Microsoft’s president, Brad Smith, said that the ban would stifle investment and technological advancement in the UK. Activision Blizzard’s chief communications officer, Lulu Cheng Meservey, went further, pledging to “reassess our growth plans for the UK” and said that “Innovators large and small will take note that – despite all its rhetoric – the UK is clearly closed for business.”