Unlike the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the EU has decided Microsoft wouldn’t seriously harm consumers if allowed to proceed with its plan to buy the video games giant Activision Blizzard for $67 billion. The CMA vetoed the deal last month on the basis that it would give the merged company a monopolistic presence in cloud gaming, where much of the industry is headed. European regulators are relaxed by comparison. They agree Activision Blizzard, which makes Call of Duty, will be enormous in the cloud, but they accept Microsoft’s promise to let all cloud-based game-streamers operate on its consoles. The CMA doesn’t. US regulators, who have yet to make their minds up, are on the fence but leaning negative. If they side with the CMA the deal probably won’t fly. So seven years after Brexit the UK turns out to be the schoolmarm of the ether. How’s that for Singapore-on-Thames?
Photograph Activision Blizzard