- Microsoft appeals against the UK Competition and Markets Authority’s decision to block its $69 billion takeover bid of Activision Blizzard, citing “fundamental errors” in the assessment of its cloud gaming services.
- The CMA vetoed the deal in April, stating concerns that it could harm the nascent cloud gaming market. Microsoft argues that the CMA’s conclusion that the takeover bid would lessen competition in the UK’s cloud gaming market was wrong.
- Microsoft is confident in the strength of its appeal and the binding commitments it has made to increase competition and choice for players today and in the future. The appeals process could have significant implications for the future of the cloud gaming market in the UK and beyond.
Activision, the popular video game developer, filed an appeal against the United Kingdom’s gaming regulator earlier this week. The move came after Microsoft outlined its reasons for filing a complaint against the UK’s Gambling Commission, accusing it of being overly harsh in its treatment of the company.
The complaint filed by Microsoft asserted that the regulators were treating in-game loot boxes the same way they treat traditional gambling. The complaint claimed that loot boxes were a form of “surprise mechanics” rather than gambling, and that they could be used for different purposes, such as rewarding players for their achievements or levelling up in the game.
However, the Gambling Commission dismissed Microsoft’s complaint, stating that as they believe loot boxes are indeed a form of gambling, since they involve an element of chance and players can spend real money without knowing what they might get in return. The regulator is currently considering tightening the regulations around video game loot boxes and their potential impact on young players.
Activision’s response to the regulators was swift, with the company filing an appeal that stated that the treatment they were receiving was unfair and would make it difficult for them to continue offering popular games with loot boxes. The company argued that the regulators were trying to impose rules on them that were not appropriate for the industry, and that their actions would have serious consequences on Activision’s ability to keep up with market competition and trends.
This has caused significant concern among UK gamers, who fear that the regulators could ultimately force video game developers out of the country in search of more favorable conditions. It remains to be seen how the appeal will be treated by the Gambling Commission, and whether this will lead to any changes in the regulatory landscape of video games in the UK.