Xbox calls for global regulators to board with Activision Blizzard Merger, Canada disagrees

Although Xbox has stated that its proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard has the support of regulators around the world, the Canadian Regulatory Agency has publicly stated that it does not support the deal.

In a letter, Jonathan Petran, an attorney for the Canada Competition Bureau, wrote to Microsoft attorneys Beth Wilkinson and Bambo Obaro to address some “factual errors” in the court document submitted during the evidentiary hearing between the FTC and Microsoft. With reference to Microsoft’s announcement that “every regulator worldwide” is involved in Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

Contrary to previous quotes from the memorandum, in a video conference on May 5, 2023, the Bureau informed Microsoft and Activision’s Canadian attorneys that the Bureau has concluded that the proposed merger is likely to prevent and/or significantly reduce competition with respect to game consoles and subscription services. multi-game (in addition to cloud gaming) and that the office continues to monitor the transaction,” Bitran wrote.

“We have received notice from the Competition Bureau of Canada that it will continue to monitor our acquisition of Activision Blizzard after the official waiting period preventing closing of the transaction has expired,” a Microsoft spokesperson told IGN in a statement. “We continue to work with regulators around the world to address any remaining concerns.”

The document Petran is referring to is a memorandum submitted on June 16 before the session began. In the document, Microsoft claimed that every regulator worldwide “other than” the Federal Trade Commission and the UK’s Competition Market Authority (CMA) had supported the deal. The former is currently suing Microsoft to stop the deal, while the latter voted a few months ago to block the deal from moving forward.

The Canadian Competition Bureau’s statement is a slap in the face of Xbox’s assertion that the FTC and CMA are outliers in opposing the Activision Blizzard deal. So far, the Xbox has received approval in markets including Europe and Japan, but it has been subject to scrutiny elsewhere.

Microsoft is currently appealing the CMA’s decision with a hearing scheduled for July 28th Tom Warren of The Verge noted Yesterday, the Capital Markets Authority tried to postpone the appeal session from July to October, but it was unsuccessful.

Meanwhile, we are currently in the fourth day of an evidentiary hearing between the FTC and Microsoft, where the outcome of this trial will determine the future of Microsoft’s proposed deal to buy Activision Blizzard. If you want to learn more about the ongoing beta, check out our daily walkthroughs. If you want a more in-depth look at previous trial days, see the analysis parts for Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, and Day 4.

Editor’s note: The story has been updated to include a statement from Microsoft.

Taylor is a reporter at IGN. You can follow her on Twitter @tweet

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