UK doesn't work for other global regulators, says Antitrust head Cardell

Sarah Cardell, the Competition and Markets Authority's chief executive officer, was asked by UK lawmakers how often the agency had been in discussions with the US Federal Trade Commission

A Union Jack flag flutters at full mast following the end of the official period of mourning of Britain's Queen Elizabeth, in London (Photo: Reuters)

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By Katharine Gemmell
The UK’s competition watchdog vowed to continue to put Britain first after her agency announced its arrival on the global stage by blocking Microsoft Corp.’s $69 billion Activision Blizzard Inc. deal.
Sarah Cardell, the Competition and Markets Authority’s chief executive officer, was asked by UK lawmakers how often the agency had been in discussions with the US Federal Trade Commission and whether it was useful for them that the CMA blocked the deal. 
“We are absolutely not doing the bidding of other agencies,” Cardell told a committee of politicians Tuesday. “Our responsibility at the end of the day is to look at the impact for the UK.”  

“When we are looking at those deals of course we are highly mindful of fact that we want to ensure continuity and integrity of analysis,” Cardell said.
On Monday, the CMA issued a strong response to the European Commission’s decision to wave through the Microsoft deal it blocked. The CMA said the decision would allow Microsoft to set the terms and conditions for the cloud gaming market for the next 10 years.

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The US sued over the deal and a hearing is scheduled to take place in August. Cardell told the panel that discussions with other agencies depended on waivers from the merging parties. She said that in the latter stages of the CMA’s Microsoft probe it did not have a waiver with the FTC and were restricted in discussions. 
Britain’s competition regulator has been thrust into the global spotlight post-Brexit with a slew of high-profile decisions involving the biggest tech firms like Microsoft and Meta Platforms Inc.’s Giphy deal.

First Published: May 16 2023 | 9:13 PM IST

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