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Microsoft bosses to meet Jeremy Hunt amid row over proposed purchase of Activision Blizzard


Could Call of Duty be BANNED in the UK? Microsoft bosses to meet Jeremy Hunt this week amid row over proposed purchase of Activision Blizzard – which may see British gamers stopped from accessing popular titles

  • Brad Smith and Jeremy Hunt are slated to discuss the proposal this week
  • They will also discuss ‘potential of AI’ and ‘need for thoughtful regulation of it’

Microsoft bosses are slated to meet with Jeremy Hunt this week as Britain attempts to stop the company from purchasing the publisher of Call of Duty.

The tech firm launched a bid to acquire video game Activision Blizzard, but British antitrust regulators have blocked the roughly £55billion ($69billion) purchase.

If Microsoft moves forward with the purchase, gamers in the UK would be unable to purchase or download any titles from the Activision catalogue, including COD, World of Warcraft, Overwatch, Diablo, and Candy Crush. 

Brad Smith, the president of Microsoft, has arranged to meet with the Chancellor this week to discuss the proposal, as well as the ‘potential of AI‘ and the ‘need for thoughtful regulation of it’, a spokesperson told Bloomberg.

Analysts predict the Government and Microsoft will reach an agreement before ‘extreme measures’, like prohibiting access to Activision games, take place.

Microsoft bosses are slated to meet with Jeremy Hunt (pictured in November) this week as Britain attempts to stop the company from purchasing the publisher of Call of Duty

The tech firm launched a bid to acquire video game Activision Blizzard, but British antitrust regulators have blocked the roughly £55billion purchase. Activision made several popular titles including Call of Duty (pictured), World of Warcraft, Overwatch, Diablo, and Candy Crush

The tech firm launched a bid to acquire video game Activision Blizzard, but British antitrust regulators have blocked the roughly £55billion purchase. Activision made several popular titles including Call of Duty (pictured), World of Warcraft, Overwatch, Diablo, and Candy Crush

The all-cash Activision deal has been scrutinised by regulators over fears that it would give Microsoft and its Xbox console control of hit gaming franchises.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) – the UK’s watchdog – has voiced concerns over how the deal would affect cloud gaming, which streams to tablets, phones and other devices and frees players from buying expensive consoles and gaming computers. 

The CMA announced its decision to block the deal in February, which Mr Smith said was the ‘darkest day’ Microsoft had experienced in its entire 40 years of working in Britain.

Now, he has moved to hold private discussions with Mr Hunt in an apparent bid to reach some common ground.

A Microsoft spokesperson told the news outlet that the pair would be discussing ‘the proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard’.

The representative added: ‘We remain committed to finding creative and constructive ways to address remaining regulatory concerns.’

Meanwhile, an open hearing to appeal the CMA’s ruling is scheduled for late next month. It is understood that Microsoft began working on its rebuttal as soon as the decision was announced. 

MailOnline has approached Microsoft for comment. 





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