When Microsoft announced its bid to acquire Activision Blizzard for an astonishing $69 billion, it was met with plenty of pushback by Sony. The company didn’t want Microsoft to acquire Activision Blizzard and went to several regulators to stop this deal from going through. One of the significant regulators to have blocked this acquisition from happening was the UK’s CMA. That was major news, as it looked like Microsoft had answered all of their concerns going through the review process.
Initially, the concerns were centered around the Call of Duty franchise, as Sony pointed out a variety of areas that would hurt PlayStation. For instance, Sony pointed out that Microsoft would make the game franchise an exclusive, but when that was disproven, they instead focused on how the game version for PlayStation consoles would purposely be made inferior.
While it didn’t look like the CMA was given in to these claims, they eventually struck the deal down because of cloud gaming concerns. But now, new details are coming out that might suggest the block came from an individual with a conflict of interest.
Thanks to Windows Central, we’re learning that Florian Mueller did a bit more digging into the individuals attached to the CMA. It turns out that the current-serving senior director might have a conflict of interest. Apparently, Colin Raftery was previously attached to Cleary Gottlieb, a law firm that was representing Sony as they fought back against the Activision Blizzard deal.
What makes things a bit more interesting is that Florian Mueller tweed out that this was the individual that essentially made the decision for the CMA to block the deal.
That has sparked quite an outrage online as it shows a conflict of interest. It’s speculated that Colin blocked the deal because of previous ties to those that work at Cleary Gottlieb. Perhaps this deal would have actually gone through the first go around when Microsoft first started to go through the list of concerns by the CMA.
At any rate, Microsoft has officially appealed the CMA decision, so now we get to repeat this whole process all over again. But it should be interesting to see if anything else comes up from this newfound discovery.