Latest Technology News: Britain gives extra life to Microsoft’s Activision deal – Hi

Merging companies have long viewed the UK Competition and Markets Authority as a kind of end-tier boss. For two years in a row, the CMA has blocked more deals than any other regulator, blocking deals like Metas’ acquisition of flawless meme generator Giphy. This year he was busy again, in April blocking Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of video game maker Activision Blizzard, which had sought approval elsewhere.

FILE PHOTO: The Microsoft logo is seen on a smartphone placed over the Activision Blizzard logo displayed in this illustration taken January 18, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration // File Photo (REUTERS)

Is the fearsome trustbuster getting ready for bed? On July 11, a US court authorized the Microsoft-Activision transaction, leaving Britain as recalcitrant. Within hours, the CMA said it was ready to review a modified version of the transaction. Activisions stock price soars: Investors think it’s on.

Some see recent CMA activism as a demonstration of post-Brexit independence. A more bland explanation is that companies are unaccustomed to UK antitrust regulators (which pre-Brexit took precedence over Brussels), increasing the risk of confusion and surprises. Tech companies find CMA processes inflexible, with little room for negotiation. Microsoft was blindsided by its April decision on Activision.

Another reason for the new British dynamism lies in America. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) used to approve more vertical mergers, like Microsoft and Activision, with conditions. But these conditions have proven difficult to enforce, so regulators now prefer to block vertical agreements altogether. In America, where the legal basis for doing so is slim, courts overrule such decisions. In Great Britain, where the trustbusters have a wide discretionary power, the veto of the CMAs is maintained. Britain thus finds itself in solitary opposition to global agreements.

It’s uncomfortable, especially when the parties are not British. In May, the UK government urged its regulators to understand their wider responsibilities for economic growth. As the FTC continues its unsuccessful opposition to any big deal, the responsibility to compromise increasingly falls elsewhere.

To stay up to date with the biggest stories in business and technology, sign up for the Conclusionour weekly subscriber-only newsletter.

2023, The Economist Newspaper Limited. All rights reserved. From The Economist, published under licence. Original content can be found at

Also read this Article:

An Overview of Global Events in 2023

In 2023, the world witnessed a myriad of events that left a lasting impact on global affairs. From political developments and economic shifts to environmental challenges and breakthroughs in science and technology, the year was marked by significant changes and a sense of urgency for collective action. Here’s an overview of some of the latest world news in 2023.

Political Unrest and Diplomatic Strides:
In the political arena, several regions experienced unrest and geopolitical tensions. The ongoing conflict in the Middle East continued to dominate headlines, with efforts towards peace and stability remaining elusive. However, there were also moments of diplomatic breakthroughs as nations engaged in dialogues to ease tensions and work towards lasting solutions.

Economic Transformations:
The global economy faced both challenges and opportunities. Trade disputes between major powers affected markets, while some countries grappled with debt crises. On the other hand, emerging economies showed resilience and promising growth, fueling optimism for a more balanced global economic landscape.

Technological Advancements:
Innovation surged forward in the tech industry, with breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, renewable energy, and space exploration. Quantum computing achieved milestones, promising radical transformations across industries. Renewable energy sources gained traction, with many countries setting ambitious goals to combat climate change.

Climate Crisis and Environmental Resilience:
As the climate crisis intensified, extreme weather events wreaked havoc in various parts of the world. Wildfires, hurricanes, and floods reminded humanity of the urgent need for climate action. In response, governments and communities across the globe doubled down on efforts to reduce carbon emissions, invest in sustainable infrastructure, and protect biodiversity.

Health and Pandemic Management:
Health remained a global priority as countries continued to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. With the emergence of new variants, vaccination efforts and public health measures remained crucial to curbing the spread of the virus. There were also significant advancements in medical research and technology, offering hope for better preparedness in handling future health crises.

Sports and Cultural Milestones:
Amidst the challenges, the world found moments of joy and unity through sports and culture. International sporting events brought together athletes from diverse backgrounds, promoting solidarity and camaraderie. Cultural exchanges and celebrations showcased the richness of human diversity and fostered mutual understanding.

In conclusion, the year 2023 was a dynamic period filled with significant events that shaped the course of history. From political unrest to technological advancements and environmental challenges, the world witnessed the complexities of the global landscape. While obstacles remained, there were also encouraging developments and collaborative efforts towards a more sustainable, peaceful, and prosperous future for all nations. As we move forward, the lessons learned from these events serve as a reminder of the importance of collective action and cooperation to address shared global challenges.