Activision Blizzard merger blockage is terrible for Britain, according to Microsoft CEO.
One of Microsoft’s senior executives has spoken out after UK regulators vetoed the software giant’s acquisition of US video game developer Activision Blizzard.
According to Brad Smith of the BBC, the move was “bad for Britain” and demonstrated that the European Union was a better place to establish a business than the UK.
However, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) stated that its role was not to protect the interests of merging companies.
The CMA also stated that its ruling would promote growth.
Microsoft would acquire enormously popular game titles such as Call of Duty, Candy Crush, and World of Warcraft as part of the proposed $68.7 billion (£55 billion) merger.
However, the regulator expressed concern on Wednesday that the transaction will stifle innovation and give players fewer options in the rapidly rising cloud gaming business, in which people buy subscriptions to access games online.
Microsoft has already stated that the decision may have an impact on its investment in the United Kingdom.
Mr Smith, Microsoft’s vice chair and president, told BBC Radio 4 Today that the business was “very disappointed” by the CMA’s decision, “but more than that, unfortunately, I think it’s bad for Britain.”
“The message is clear: the European Union is a more appealing place to start a business than the United Kingdom.”
One of the UK government’s post-Brexit ambitions is to implement “light-touch” restrictions for research and technology to foster economic growth.
Mr Smith stated that if the UK wants to attract investment and become a location “where technology not only flourishes, but is created,” it “needs to look hard at the role of the CMA and the regulatory structure.”
He went on to say that the CMA judgment has “shocked, disappointed, and severely shaken people’s confidence in technology in the UK.”