Brad Smith, President of Microsoft, initially expressed deep dissatisfaction with the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) after it impeded Microsoft’s substantial acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Previously characterizing it as a significant setback in Microsoft’s UK history and a motivation to prefer the EU for business, Smith has tempered his stance following successful renegotiations and CMA approval, praising the regulator for its stringent yet equitable approach in a recent BBC Radio 4 interview.
Smith acknowledges his personal learning curve and hints at more measured language in future discourse, while still maintaining his original concerns. The CMA’s insistence on Microsoft altering its acquisition strategy, particularly in relinquishing certain cloud gaming rights, is something Smith respects, recognizing the regulator’s firm but fair attitude.
Despite Microsoft’s adapted approach and eventual compliance leading to the deal’s closure after extensive global scrutiny, the CMA has openly criticized Microsoft’s initial resistance and strategy, emphasizing the non-viability of such tactics in engaging with regulatory bodies. Meanwhile, in the U.S., the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) continues to challenge the deal, with significant legal decisions pending.