UK Blocks Microsoft’s $69bn Acquisition Call of Duty Maker Activision Blizzard
Britain, yesterday blocked Microsoft’s $69-billion takeover of US video game giant Activision Blizzard, arguing it would harm competition in cloud gaming and leaving the blockbuster deal in peril.
The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority prevented the deal “over concerns… (it) would alter the future of the fast-growing cloud gaming market, leading to reduced innovation and less choice for UK gamers over the years to come”, the CMA said in a final decision on its long-running probe.
Microsoft replied it would appeal the verdict over its vast takeover, which has yet to win regulatory approvals in Europe or the United States.
The Xbox-owner launched in 2022 its bid to create the world’s third biggest gaming company by revenue with the takeover of Activision, owner of hit games “Candy Crush” and “Call Of Duty”, triggering antitrust concerns worldwide.
The CMA added Wednesday that Microsoft’s proposed remedies over cloud gaming contained “significant shortcomings” and would require further regulatory oversight instead of allowing the market to decide.
“Preventing the merger would effectively allow market forces to continue to operate and shape the development of cloud gaming without this regulatory intervention,” it added in the statement.
Martin Coleman, chair of the independent panel of experts conducting the CMA probe, said the landmark deal would have handed Microsoft even more power over rivals.
“Microsoft already enjoys a powerful position and head start over other competitors in cloud gaming and this deal would strengthen that advantage, giving it the ability to undermine new and innovative competitors,” Coleman said.
“Microsoft engaged constructively with us to try to address these issues and we are grateful for that, but their proposals were not effective to remedy our concerns and would have replaced competition with ineffective regulation in a new and dynamic market.”
The announcement comes one month after the CMA narrowed the scope of its probe to cloud gaming, after concluding that Microsoft’s deal would not damage competition in relation to console gaming.
Yet it argued yesterday that the video games market needed competition to thrive.
“Cloud gaming needs a free, competitive market to drive innovation and choice,” added Coleman.
“That is best achieved by allowing the current competitive dynamics in cloud gaming to continue to do their job.”
Mrs Akume Confident of Nigeria’s Transformation Under Tinubu
Mrs Regina Akume, the elected member of the House of Representatives for Gboko/Tarkaa Federal Constituency has expressed confidence in the ability of President Bola Tinubu to transform Nigeria.
Mrs Akume said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Makurdi.
According to her, Tinubu’s antecedents while governor of Lagos state will guide him in changing the face of the country.
“It’s a new dawn and a new hope. The APC has produced a government that will address untold hardship, untold hatred and unite all Nigerians.
“We pray for God to give His favour on this new government.God will give him knowledge, wisdom and vision to succeed”.
She also urged Nigerians to support the administration to succeed.
“God has brought him this time around to reposition Nigeria at a larger scale, and I have the confidence, I am optimistic, I am very sure that he is going to do the best”.
Mrs Akume also prayed for the success of Benue Governor, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia.
“My prayer is that Fr. Hyacinth Alia should not disappoint God, his priesthood where he comes from and the entire people of Benue. (NAN)
Education Minister Hails Buhari as his Benefactor at valedictory ceremony.
By Evelyn Terseer, Abuja
The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu has expressed gratitude to president Muhammadu Buhari for giving him the opportunity to serve as the long serving Minister in his administration despite his shortcomings.
‘’I was a poor and angry journalist and never saw myself in rising to become a Minister.I became the Minister simply because of my relationship with President Buhari’’ He added .
Mallam Adam Adamu expressed joy as being the most lucky person to have the best people to man different parastatals in the education sector.
He further apologized to civil servants who thought his administration was ran with only his friends whereas it was a wrong notion.
Speaking at the valedictory ceremony, the Minister for State for Education, Nanah Opiah expressed gratitude to president Buhari and the entire ministry of education for the great opportunity and cooperation he got during his course of work.
According to Nanah Opiah, the ministry of education has helped him to discover the problems bordering the education sector such as,out of school children problem, adolescent girl problem, inadequate facilities and so on which help him to eloquently present the challenges to the National Assembly.
Furthermore, TETFUND Boss, Sunny Echono also commended the integrity of the work of Mallam Adamu Adamu.
He stated some numerous achievements of the Minister of Education such as establishment of six universities of Health sciences in the country, two additional universities of Technology, three additional universities of Agriculture and increase of colleges of Education under 8yrs in office compared to Nigeria’s 60 years.
Sunny Echono appreciated the Minister for helping him achieve phenomenal growth in revenue from 2%-3% which will help in hitting the target of five billion naira targeted at giving the tertiary education yearly.
He also added that there is increase in publication of books and delivery of projects.
In the remarks of permanent secretary, Andrew Adejoh, he called on workers in the education sector to emulate the good deeds of Mallam Adamu Adamu and Nanah Opiah .
Ogun House of Assembly Workers Shut Gate to Demand Improved Welfare
Members of the Ogun chapter of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) shut the gates of the House of Assembly on Thursday to demand implementation of Consolidated Legislative Salary Structure (CONLESS).
Speaking with newsmen at Abeokuta, Mr Ayotunde Ojediran, the chapter chairman noted that it was important for the staff to register their displeasure with the state government.
Ojediran said the shutting of the gates was to signal the beginning of a three-day warning strike over the failure of the state government to consider the association’s demands.
He noted that the implementation of CONLESS would put staff of the assembly on the same pedestal as staff of the Judiciary who had been enjoying Consolidated Judicial Salary Structure (CONJESS).
The implementation, he added, would also benefit staff of the House of Assembly Service Commission.
Ojediran said government was also yet to comply with the provision of the State Assembly Service Commission Law, 2018 regarding the emoluments of principal officers.
He noted that the non-compliance had resulted into the non-payment of due salaries and allowances to the three most senior officers in the assembly since their respective dates of appointment.
“The union had earlier written to the state government stating all the demands and we issued a 21-day ultimatum to meet the demands but nothing was done till the ultimatum lapsed.
“We are presently in negotiation with the state government but as we speak we are yet to reach any meaningful agreement.
“If all these issues are not addressed, it will not be too good for the system. This is an institution, but unfortunately people are not enjoying what is due to them.
“We are optimistic that before the expiration of the three-day warning strike, government will do the needful. I know we have a listening governor who is father to all.
“If there is no positive response from the state government, we will call for an indefinite strike immediately,’’ he said.
Efforts to get the reaction of the management of the assembly proved abortive.
In a letter dated May 9, the national body of PASAN gave Gov. Dapo Abiodun until the end of May to address issues raised by its members in the Ogun State House of Assembly.
The letter was signed by its National Secretary-General, Mr Awobifa Hammed.
It demanded full compliance with the provisions of the Ogun State House of Assembly Service Commission Law, 2018 and Statutory Office (State Emolument) Amendment 2018.
It noted that the governor ignored three earlier correspondences from its Ogun chapter on the issues “despite the legislative workers’ plea’’.
It urged the governor to address its demands before May 31 or risk an industrial crisis in the state. (NAN)
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