Riled Microsoft president slams CMA decision as “Bad for Britain”

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Microsoft President and Vice Chairman Brad Smith has blasted the CMA for its decision yesterday to block Microsoft’s $68 billion acquisition of gaming giant Activision Blizzard King.

In an interview with the BBC podcast Wake up to Money, Smith expressed his disappointment with the U.K. regulatory agency, calling Wednesday’s announcement “probably the darkest day in our four decades in Britain and adding,

It does more than shake our confidence in the future of the opportunity to grow a technology business in Britain than we’ve ever confronted before.

He also called the CMA decision “bad for Britain,” adding that it sends a message “that will discourage innovation and investment in the United Kingdom.”

Unsurprisingly, the CMA disagrees with Smith. CMA Chief Executive Sarah Cardell said in a statement to Today,

I think this decision shows actually how important it is to support competition in the UK and that the UK is absolutely open for business.

We want to create an environment where a whole host of different companies can compete effectively, can grow and innovate.”

Microsoft has already stated its intention to appeal the decision. The European Commission in Brussels has until May 22 to deliver its own conclusion on the merger. And in the U.S. the FTC has filed a lawsuit to block the deal. Regardless of the outcomes of these various hurdles, the CMA decision deals a major blow to Microsoft’s chances of closing the buyout if it is not ultimately reversed.

Via BBC.