Microsoft Reportedly Considering Withdrawing Activision from UK to Work Around CMA Block

Microsoft president Brad Smith is set to meet with UK Chancellor Jeremy to “voice his frustration” over CMA blocking the deal.

The United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has proved to be the biggest stumbling block for Microsoft’s proposed $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, having blocked the deal in April, and though Microsoft has lodged an appeal with the UK Competition Appeals Tribunal against the decision, the company might be devising other ways to get around the block as well.

For instance, a report published by Bloomberg has claimed that one solution Microsoft is considering is to pull Activision Blizzard as a whole out of the UK entirely, thus bypassing the CMA’s block by not having any commercial presence for the company in the region.

Interestingly, this isn’t the first time such an idea has been floated. In May, when asked in an interview if pulling Activision Blizzard out of the UK was an option that Microsoft would examine, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella was unwilling to rule it out.

Bloomberg’s report goes on to state that Microsoft president Brad Smith is set to meet with UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt in the coming days. Hunt was recently publicly critical of the CMA’s move to block the proposed Activision deal, and Smith will reportedly be voicing his frustrations over the block.

Last month, the European Commission formally approved the Microsoft-Activision deal, and shortly afterward, the CMA stated that though the EU had taken a “different view”, it still stood by its decision.