UK CMA Delays Decision On Xbox ActiBlizz Deal Until Late August

The UK's Competition and Markets Authority has announced today that it needs more time to decide on Xbox's latest proposal for the takeover of Activision Blizzard, pushing its deadline back from July 18th to August 29th, 2023.

In an official filing on the UK Government website, it's mentioned that there's "insufficient time" for the "full and proper consideration of Microsoft’s submission on the proposed Order". Here's a closer look:

"The statutory period for the CMA either to accept final Undertakings or make a final Order currently ends on 18 July 2023."

"The CMA considers that there is insufficient time remaining in the statutory period for full and proper consideration of Microsoft’s submission on the proposed Order. As such, the Inquiry Group considers that there are special reasons to extend by six weeks under section 41A(2) of the Act the period for the discharge of its duty under section 41(2) of the Act. The revised period will therefore end on 29 August 2023. However, the Inquiry Group aims to discharge its duty as soon as possible and in advance of this date."

It's been widely reported that Microsoft and Activision Blizzard have a deadline of July 18th to conclude their merger, so the question remains as to what happens next. Of course, the two parties could agree a short extension based on the CMA's new deadline, but some are still speculating the deal might close earlier than August.

Whatever the case may be, Microsoft and the CMA have both shown signs recently that they're wiling to work together to try and find a resolution for the Activision Blizzard deal in the UK, which was previously blocked back in April.

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