Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Microsoft president likes UK again now, after major gaming deal sulk

When UK competition regulators threatened to derail Microsoft’s planned acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the company’s president Brad Smith threw his toys out of the pram.

He said the Competition and Markets Authority’s worries about Microsoft potentially damaging the emerging cloud gaming market “discourages technology innovation and investment in the United Kingdom”.

He went on to condescendingly accuse the watchdog of a “flawed understanding” of how both the market and the technology itself.

Huge 52% discount on the Samsung Odyssey Ark (2022)

Huge 52% discount on the Samsung Odyssey Ark (2022)

Samsung’s Odyssey Ark 55-inch 4K HDR curved gaming monitor is an absolute cracker. It was expensive, not it’s certainly not. You can get it for less than half price right now.

  • Amazon
  • Save 51%
  • £1249
View Deal

Like most rich blokes, now that Smith got his way in the end, he’s ok with the CMA. Apparently, they’re “tough and fair”, Smith said in an interview with the BBC.

“It pushed Microsoft to change the acquisition that we had proposed, for Activision Blizzard to spin out certain rights that the CMA was concerned about with respect to cloud gaming,” Smith told the Today Programme.

Apparently, the concessions earned by the CMA in order to rubber stamp the $79 billion acquisition of the Call of Duty maker were justified? So why kick off so much in the first place and accuse the regulator of not understanding?

The transaction approved by the UK in October meant that the gaming and software giant would not have access to the exclusive cloud gaming rights for existing Activision PC and console games, or new ones for the next decade and a half.

“This new deal will put the cloud streaming rights (outside the EEA) for all of Activision’s PC and console content produced over the next 15 years in the hands of a strong and independent competitor with ambitious plans to offer new ways of accessing that content.”

“The new deal will stop Microsoft from locking up competition in cloud gaming as this market takes off, preserving competitive prices and services for UK cloud gaming customers. It will allow Ubisoft to offer Activision’s content under any business model,” the CMA said after finally giving the deal the green light.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2003, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.

Trusted Reviews Logo

Sign up to our newsletter

Get the best of Trusted Reviews delivered right to your inbox.

This is a test error message with some extra words