Microsoft is still smarting from the UK's Competition and Markets Authority's decision to block its planned $69 billion purchase of Activision Blizzard. In a new interview, Microsoft's president Brad Smith attacked the CMA's move, saying it was "bad for Britian".
In the BBC interview, Smith stated:
"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 said. "People are shocked, people are disappointed, and people's confidence in technology in the UK has been severely shaken. There's a clear message here - the European Union is a more attractive place to start a business than the United Kingdom."
The CMA blocked the deal because it felt that such a purchase would give Microsoft a huge edge in the small but growing cloud gaming market and cut back on competition in that market. In the same BBC interview, CMA's chief executive, Sarah Cardell, defended the regulator's move:
"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," she said. "We want to create an environment where a whole host of different companies can compete effectively, can grow and innovate."
Microsoft has already stated it will appeal the CMA's decision, but that could take months to complete. Even if the appeal does overturn the regulator's judgement, that means the merger will be sent back to the CMA to make another decision.