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Phil Spencer Says Xbox Will Forge Ahead, Even Without Activision Blizzard - Report

The deal was recently blocked by the UK, but Microsoft is reportedly working around it.


Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer has reportedly reassured staff following the news of the block to the Microsoft/Activision Blizzard deal in the UK.

On Wednesday, it was confirmed that the UK government's Competition and Markets Authority had decided to block Xbox's acquisition of Activision Blizzard, due to cloud gaming concerns. The $69 billion deal has been in the works for months, but the CMA said that the purchase "would alter the future of the fast-growing cloud gaming market, leading to reduced innovation and less choice for UK gamers over the years to come."

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According to Bloomberg and its sources, Spencer reportedly acknowledged the CMA's decision in a meeting for division employees, saying it will slow the approval process but that Microsoft's desire to pursue the deal hasn't wavered.

The Xbox chief went on to say that the deal was meant to speed up the company's gaming plans. He explained that it doesn't represent the entirety of the planned strategy, which would apparently move ahead even without Activision, the source who was present in the meeting added.

Additionally, Spencer told those in the meeting that Microsoft President Brad Smith was drafting a response to the CMA at 2 AM Seattle time on Wednesday, while Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood, who oversees acquisitions, held a senior leadership meeting the same day.

The CMA also noted in its deliberation that Xbox making Activision Blizzard games like Call of Duty exclusive to its consoles didn't make any business sense and that Microsoft had failed to address the concerns of cloud gaming. The Microsoft President responded to the block on Wednesday, saying, "We're especially disappointed that after lengthy deliberations, this decision appears to reflect a flawed understanding of this market and the way the relevant cloud technology actually works." Smith added that the company "remains fully committed" to the acquisition and will appeal the decision.

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