You probably know by now that the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is proceeding with a Phase 2 investigation into Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard, and now in a new post on the UK government website, the CMA has laid out its plans for the investigation as well as encouraging the public to get involved.
There's nothing particularly new in terms of the overview - the CMA has confirmed it will be looking into "the impact of the merger on other console gaming platforms", "the impact of the merger on multi-game subscriptions (such as competitors to Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass)", and "the impact of the merger on the future of cloud gaming".
Here's how the CMA describes the Phase 2 process:
"At Phase 2, we build on our work at Phase 1 and gather more evidence from the merging businesses and others to investigate potential issues with competition that could arise as a result of the merger."
"If we find no competition concerns, the deal can go ahead as planned. If we do find competition concerns, we decide how these should be remedied. For example, this can include selling part of the business or prohibiting the merger altogether."
Interestingly, the CMA is very much interested in getting feedback from the public, and there will be two stages during the Phase 2 investigation in which this can take place - the first is in response to the recent "issues statement", while the second will be in response to the CMA's "provisional findings" during the Phase 2 process.
"Evidence and views should be emailed us at [email protected]. If you wish to provide attachments, please ensure that they are either in Word, Excel or searchable PDF formats.
It will help the team if you can indicate any confidential material (including whether you wish to be anonymous) and provide a non-confidential (redacted) version of your submission giving reasons for your requests for confidentiality as we may publish some or all of your submission."
As things stand, we could be waiting until March of 2023 until we get a final verdict from the CMA about whether the deal can go ahead, so don't expect a quick resolution! Microsoft has seemingly been getting frustrated about the situation recently, suggesting that Sony's "self-serving statements" concerning Call of Duty haven't helped matters.
What are your thoughts on the CMA situation right now? Let us know down in the comments below.