The boss of the UK’s antitrust regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), has defended its decision to block Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the maker of popular video game ‘Call of Duty’, stating that it was the right decision for the UK’s nascent cloud gaming market. The CMA blocked the deal on Wednesday, claiming it could hit competition in this market.
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However, Microsoft’s President, Brad Smith, criticised the decision, saying that it had shaken confidence in the UK tech industry and urged the UK government to review the role of the CMA and its regulatory structure. Smith added that the decision sent a clear message to the world that the European Union is a more attractive place to start a business than the UK.
Despite these criticisms, CMA Chief Executive Sarah Cardell said the regulator’s role was to ensure the UK had a competitive environment for businesses to thrive and grow, which was important for UK consumers and businesses. The CMA acted independently and its decision was accountable, she said.