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Shares of Activision Blizzard (ATVI.US), US video game company, are plunging 10% in premarket today. Slump was triggered by the decision of the UK regulator to block a $69 billion takeover of the company by Microsoft (MSFT.US).
The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said that antitrust concerns could not be solved by proposals made by Microsoft. Those included sale of blockbuster Call of Duty franchise or promise to allow rival companies to offer games on their own gaming platforms. According to CMA, should the merger go through it would result in higher prices and fewer choices for UK consumers as well as less innovation in the industry.
It should be noted that the final decision from the UK watchdog comes ahead of decisions from US and EU regulators. The US Federal Trade Commission has been threatening to veto the transaction as well but it will make its final decision after hearings in the summer. Microsoft has already announced that it remain committed to the Activision takeover and will appeal regulators’ decision.
Activision Blizzard (ATVI.US) trades 10% lower in premarket while Microsoft shares (MSFT.US) trade 7% higher. However, it should be said that move on Microsoft stock is driven by a solid release of Q1 earnings yesterday after close of the market.
Activision Blizzard trades 10% in premarket after the UK regulator blocked takeover by Microsoft. Source: xStation5