Activision responds to CMA’s preliminary approval of Microsoft merger, CEO Bobby Kotick remains “optimistic”

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3
(Image credit: Activision)

Activision Blizzard has officially responded to the news that the UK’s competition regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), has issued a preliminary approval for the company’s proposed merger with Microsoft.

In a statement celebrating the “great news”, Activision Blizzard wrote: “The CMA’s preliminary approval is great news for our future with Microsoft. We’re pleased the CMA has responded positively to the solutions Microsoft has proposed, and we look forward to working with Microsoft toward completing the regulatory review process.”

Furthermore, CEO Bobby Kotick sent an email to employees to reiterate his optimism about the deal, and the future of Activision. 

“As I said when we announced the deal, this transaction will help us accelerate our ambitions for the future of gaming and enable us to better serve our players,” he wrote. “Microsoft recognizes the commitment to excellence and creative independence that has served us well for the last 30 years. I am confident that their resources, technology, and tools will provide us even greater opportunities to create even better games.

“This is a significant milestone for the merger and a testament to our solutions-oriented work with regulators,” he continued. “I remain optimistic as we continue the journey toward completion and am very grateful to each of you for your dedication and focus throughout this process.”

Earlier this year, the CMA prevented Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision from going ahead due to its concerns that it could harm competition in cloud gaming in the UK. Last month, however, Microsoft announced that it would sell Activision's cloud streaming rights to Ubisoft if the deal went ahead, which has helped change the UK regulator’s opinion.

“This is a new and substantially different deal, which keeps the cloud distribution of these important games in the hands of a strong independent supplier, Ubisoft, rather than under the control of Microsoft,” said the CMA’s senior director of mergers and Phase One decision maker, Colin Raftery. 

The CMA has now opened a consultation for Microsoft’s updated deal, which will run until October 6.

If you want some new game recommendations, look no further than our lists of the best Xbox Series X games, and the best PC games.

Catherine Lewis
News Writer, TechRadar Gaming

Catherine is a News Writer for TechRadar Gaming. Armed with a journalism degree from The University of Sheffield, she was sucked into the games media industry after spending far too much time on her university newspaper writing about Pokémon and cool indie games, and realising that was a very cool job, actually. She previously spent 19 months working at GAMINGbible as a full-time journalist. She loves all things Nintendo, and will never stop talking about Xenoblade Chronicles.