June 14, 2024

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Canada ‘continues to monitor’ Activision deal, claims Microsoft filings contain ‘inaccurate information’

Canada ‘continues to monitor’ Activision deal, claims Microsoft filings contain ‘inaccurate information’

Update 6/30/23: Microsoft responded to a Canadian statement issued by its competition bureau last night, which was released as legal action brought by the US Federal Trade Commission concluded.

In short, Microsoft notes that Canada’s window to meaningfully respond to the deal has now passed. Globally, only the United States and the United Kingdom stand in opposition.

“We have received notice from the Competition Bureau of Canada that it will continue to monitor our acquisition of Activision Blizzard after the official waiting period preventing closing of the transaction has expired,” a Microsoft spokesperson said. “We continue to work with regulators around the world to address any remaining concerns.”

This week’s big courtroom battle between the Federal Trade Commission and Microsoft is expected to decide the fate of Activision Blizzard’s latest $68.7 billion acquisition — which has been dragging on for over a year now. Defeat would see it crushed in Microsoft’s largest market and on its home turf. Victory would see the deal settled everywhere but the UK – leaving Microsoft with various options moving forward.

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


Original story 6/29/23:As Microsoft argues with the US Federal Trade Commission over its proposed $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, Canada has moved to refute the Xbox maker’s claims, dismissing the FTC, that “all but one” regulators around the world are collaborative with its deal – noting that Canada Still “watching the deal”.

like Reported by The VergeCanada’s Competition Bureau wrote to Judge Corley, who is currently presiding over the US Federal Trade Commission’s Activision Blizzard case, to correct some “factual errors” in Microsoft’s court filings.

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Microsoft had told the court that “every global regulator that examined the deal other than the FTC had rejected” the theory that it would remove Call of Duty from PlayStation if the acquisition went through, and that all regulators had agreed to “withhold COD from Sony to be unprofitable and therefore unprofitable”. Not a major concern.” It also claimed that “all but one of the foreign regulators” (ie the UK’s Capital Markets Authority) had cleared the deal.

Newsletter: The biggest headlines this week from FTC vs Microsoft.

The Competition Bureau of Canada disagrees with these three points, however, and has written to Judge Corley to confirm that it “has notified Microsoft and Activision’s Canadian attorneys that the Bureau has concluded that the proposed merger is likely to result in significant inhibition and/or reduction of competition with respect to with game consoles and multi-game subscription services (in addition to cloud gaming). It noted that it had also told Microsoft that “the bureau continues to monitor the deal.”

While many regulators around the world have approved of Microsoft’s proposed deal – including in Europe – outliers remain. Besides a recent warning from the Canadian Competition Bureau that it still has concerns about the acquisition, the US Federal Trade Commission is currently fighting Microsoft in court to secure an injunction blocking the deal before its internal deliberations.

In the UK, the Competition and Markets Authority blocked the acquisition citing concerns about the cloud gaming sector. Microsoft is scheduled to appeal this decision in July.