Microsoft President Brad Smith stated that the UK regulator’s move to block Microsoft’s acquisition of ‘Call of Duty’ developer Activision Blizzard “had shaken confidence” in the UK as a destination for tech enterprises.
The merger was stopped on Wednesday by the Competition and Markets Authority, which functions independently of the government because it could harm competition in the embryonic cloud gaming business.
On Thursday, Microsoft retaliated, saying it was “probably the darkest day in our four decades in Britain” and that it conveyed the incorrect message to the global software industry about the UK.
“If the government of the United Kingdom wants to bring in investment, if it wants to create jobs (…) it needs to look hard at the role of the CMA, the regulatory structure in the United Kingdom, this transaction, and the message that the United Kingdom has just said to the world,” he told BBC radio.
Smith’s views, according to a spokesman for British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, are “not borne out by the facts”.
However, CMA Chief Executive Sarah Cardell stated that the regulator’s mission is to ensure that Britain is a competitive environment in which firms can develop and thrive.
Microsoft announced yesterday that it would file an appeal, with Activision providing “aggressive” support.