The Activision Blizzard acquisition just hit another hurdle as the USA and UK step in.
WoW Wednesday: Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard Acquisition Has Been Delayed Further
Despite making headway in countries like Chile, Microsoft still has a long way to go in its Activision Blizzard acquisition. Specifically in the USA and UK, whose market regulators have decided to make that road just a little bit longer.
The Activision Blizzard acquisition by Microsoft has been such a prevalent topic over the last year that you could be forgiven for thinking that it was a done deal. But in order to ensure that the market is not cornered by an increasingly overstuffed Microsoft (whose acquisition portfolio includes Obsidian Entertainment, ZeniMax Media, and Mojang, among many, many others), countries are still in the process of deciding whether the acquisition is both legal and fair.
Now, both the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and the USA's Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have decided to postpone the delivery of their verdicts. For the CMA, this will be by a month, pushing the decision from March 2023 to April 2023. For the FTC, this could be as late as 2024.
And in fairness, the reason for the delay is pretty understandable. The Activision Blizzard acquisition is no small matter. And there is even a contingent of gamers calling for the acquisition to stop, with some going so far as to level a private lawsuit against the corporation, citing "far-outsized market power in the video game industry."
But Microsoft has wasted no PR time in the face of such controversy. As very recently, the company made its most public pro-unionization statement yet in a Washington Post ad co-signed by the Communication Workers of America. Better yet, the ad specifically states that it will actively encourage unionization at Activision Blizzard once the deal has been completed.
This is, of course, good news for Activision Blizzard employees (and their supporters), who have been gradually unionizing over the years in the wake of well-known controversy surrounding the studio. But is a pro-unionization stance enough to outweigh the repercussions of a potential industry stranglehold? We want to hear your take, so be sure to let us know via our socials.