Microsoft’s Satya Nadella certain Activision acquisition will succeed

The United Kingdom’s sudden regulatory interest in Microsoft’s planned acquisition of Activision Blizzard isn’t fazing CEO Satya Nadella. Speaking to Bloomberg, Nadella expressed faith that the in-progress acquisition will gain approval. “Any acquisition of this size will go through scrutiny, but we feel very, very confident that we’ll come out,” said Nadella.

Nadella’s comments come a week after the UK’s regulatory board, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), announced that it would be conducting a deeper probe into the deal. The investigation, according to a person in Brussels speaking to Financial Times, will reportedly involve multiple investigators. 

Earlier in the month, Microsoft reportedly had the option of submitting a proposal that met the CMA’s concerns, but opted not to. Among the CMA’s worries was that Microsoft was hurting competition by buying Activision Blizzard, whose franchises Call of Duty and Overwatch are releasing new installments later this year. 

Xbox head Phil Spencer has been the mouthpiece for Xbox as it waits for approval from regulators all over the world. Spencer has frequently said that Xbox wouldn’t lock off Call of Duty or Overwatch going forward, but the topic has remained a point of contention for the CMA and notably Sony

Regarding Sony, Nadella was quick to point out that the PlayStation maker has also been partaking in acquisitions in recent years, including Returnal maker Housemarque and Destiny 2 developer Bungie. “If this is about competition, let us have competition,” argued Nadella.

Nadella isn’t wrong in saying that PlayStation has been acquiring studios. But unlike Microsoft with Activision now and Bethesda in 2021, PlayStation didn’t buy two large-scale publishers back-to-back. 

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

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