Update: Activision Blizzard has released a gleeful response in relation to the UK regulators’ softened stance today. “The CMA’s updated provisional findings show an improved understanding of the console gaming market and demonstrate a commitment to supporting players and competition,” it said. “Sony’s campaign to protect its dominance by blocking our merger can't overcome the facts, and Microsoft has already presented effective and enforceable remedies to address each of the CMA's remaining concerns. We know this deal will benefit competition, innovation, and consumers in the UK.”
Original Article: In a stance softening that’s almost certain to conclude in Microsoft’s unobstructed buyout of Activision Blizzard, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority has changed its opinion on the impact the eye-watering $69 billion acquisition could have on console competition, referencing “new evidence” which suggests it’s likely to be minimal.
According to a statement released earlier today, an inquiry has “reached the provisional conclusion that, overall, the transaction will not result in a substantial lessening of competition in relation to console gaming in the UK”. It seems the regulators now do not believe there’s a financial incentive for Microsoft to make Activision’s games, including Call of Duty, exclusive.