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British antitrust regulator defends blocking Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard despite criticism from the companies involved

The head of the UK’s antitrust regulator has defended the decision to block Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the maker of the popular video game series “Call of Duty”.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) prevented the deal due to concerns it would harm competition in the emerging cloud gaming market. Microsoft’s President, Brad Smith, expressed disappointment in the decision, saying it “had shaken confidence in the UK tech industry” and suggested it was sending the wrong message to potential investors. However, CMA Chief Executive, Sarah Cardell, stated that the regulator’s role is to ensure a competitive business environment in the UK, which is important for UK consumers and businesses.

She added that the CMA’s decision was independent and the regulator is accountable for its verdict. Cardell also noted that the US Federal Trade Commission was also taking legal action to block the deal, indicating that the UK had not acted alone.

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