Here we go again! OK, so you may remember that back on the 1st of September, the Competition and Markets Authority in the UK expressed concerns about Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard and provided five working days for Microsoft to submit proposals in response, otherwise it would proceed with a Phase 2 investigation.
According to GamesIndustry.biz and the Financial Times, those proposals weren't submitted by Microsoft, potentially because the company believed they couldn't make any obvious commitments that were likely to be accepted right now.
Therefore, it sounds like Phase 2 will begin very soon (the CMA has confirmed an "in-depth investigation will proceed), and the Financial Times has suggested that it will probably be a similar situation with regulators in the European Union, with Microsoft expected to file its case to Brussels in the relatively near future.
Here's what the CMA had to say earlier today:
"The CMA has referred the anticipated acquisition by Microsoft Corporation of Activision Blizzard, Inc. for an in-depth investigation, on the basis that, on the information currently available to it, it is or may be the case that this Merger may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition within a market or markets in the United Kingdom."
In response to the news about the UK's CMA, Sony issued a very critical statement to GamesIndustry.biz once again today, stating that it "welcomes the announcement" about further investigations into the deal:
"By giving Microsoft control of Activision games like Call of Duty, this deal would have major negative implications for gamers and the future of the gaming industry. We want to guarantee PlayStation gamers continue to have the highest quality gaming experience, and we appreciate the CMA’s focus on protecting gamers."
And then, in response to Sony's comments about Call of Duty specifically, Microsoft had the following to say:
"It makes zero business sense for Microsoft to remove Call of Duty from PlayStation given its market leading console position."
The drama continues, then! We'll keep you updated as we find out more over the coming days/weeks.
What do you make of this? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments below.