Activision Blizzard CEO Responds To CMA, Says It’s Being “Objective” By Ruling Against Microsoft Merger

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has responded to the CMA following the UK regulator’s recent decision to try to block the sale of the Call of Duty company to Microsoft for $68.7 billion. In an interview with CNBCKotick made a series of claims, one of which concerned an alleged meeting between the CMA and the FTC.

Kotick said he learned of a meeting between the head of the CMA and Lina Khan, chair of the US Federal Trade Commission. The FTC is suing Microsoft to try to stop the sale. Some believe that the FTC and the CMA are working together.

An FTC source said Reuters that Khan and the CMA did in fact meet last week but did not discuss the case. FTC Guidelines Status that “Federal antitrust work often involves cooperating with international authorities around the world to promote sound competition policy approaches.”

“I was surprised to learn that Lina Khan and the head of the CMA had a meeting a week and a half ago in Washington. You know, legally, you’re not supposed to talk about active litigation. I don’t know if they did,” Kotick said. “But, you know, I think that’s what you’re seeing now, that the FTC is using the CMA as a tool to be able to create these kinds of results, and this is not the way they do it.” It’s supposed to be operating.”

An FTC spokesman told Reuters: “The FTC did not collude in any way with the CMA or any other international regulator on any proposed merger review.”

The spokesperson added: “When a deal appears overtly anti-competitive, independent antitrust regulators can simply make their own judgements.”

In the CNBC interview, Kotick said that regulators who have opposed the sale are “taking dogmatic positions” and not doing their job or fulfilling their mission.

Kotick went on to say that the CMA’s decision came as a shock to Activision Blizzard because until the decision was made on April 26, Kotick considered the CMA to be “thoughtful and reasonable.”

“It looks like the cloud remedies that Microsoft offered, which were very generous cloud remedies, were going to result in a favorable decision. So how they interacted with us during the process is very different than how the outcome was.” “, said. .

Also in the interview, Kotick said it is imperative that the sale be allowed so that American companies can better compete on a global scale. He cited TikTok owner ByteDance and League of Legends parent company Tencent as the “best companies in their industries in the world.” Consolidation is a way for companies like Activision Blizzard to better compete, he said.

“In order for US companies to be able to compete effectively, we need to be able to consolidate and have these types of mergers,” he said.

Kotick is no stranger to controversy, of course. Many called for his resignation amid a series of allegations of workplace misconduct. In June 2022, the company launched the results of its own internal investigation through its investor site. While the report acknowledged individual instances of harassment, it stated that there was “no evidence” that senior executives ignored harassment or withheld information from the Board.

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