Update on Microsoft’s Acquisition of Activision Blizzard

Earlier this week, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) blocked Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard “over concerns the deal would alter the future of the fast-growing cloud gaming market.” In response, Microsoft Vice Chair and President said, “We remain fully committed to this acquisition and will appeal. The CMA’s decision rejects a pragmatic path to address competition concerns and discourages technology innovation and investment in the United Kingdom.” This development received wide media coverage. Here are stories from ReutersCNN, and NPR.

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This Week in Washington 

  • Reuters: The Supreme Court will assess whether the First Amendment prevents government officials from blocking critics on social media sites. This comes as lower courts have had mixed rulings about whether public officials preventing critics from engaging with them online. 
  • CyberScoop: The CISA and the U.S. Cyber Command provided insight into how they have been collaborating to stop and prevent several cyberattacks at this year’s RSA Conference. Officials say that this relationship and information sharing are critical to defending the U.S. against foreign attackers.
  • Wall Street Journal: The Biden administration is looking to build on the momentum surrounding its broadband expansion initiative by planning for 6G wireless telecommunications. This would help expand internet access and reassert the U.S. and our allies as leaders in the sector. 
  • Nextgov: The NIST released a paper outlining its vision and strategy for the National Semiconductor Technology Center. The Center will play a critical role in advancing the U.S.’s ability to produce microchips and other technology as part of the CHIPS and Science Act’s research and development component.
  • CNN: A bipartisan group of Senators has introduced a new bill, the Protecting Kids on Social Media Act, that will set a nationwide age requirement for social media use and require these platforms to get parental consent before creating an account for anyone under 18.
  • CNBC: The EU has agreed to boost its chip industry through its new initiative, the European Chips Act to compete with the U.S. and Asia. This act will aim to build large-scale capacity and innovation, ensure the EU is self-sufficient, and prepare them for potential supply chain issues.
  • Reuters: South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol stated that his nation’s alliance with the U.S. needed to jump into a new phase to overcome crises. President Yeol also spoke about the $5.9 billion in investments South Korea has already gathered from U.S. tech companies.
  • The Hill: As concerns over the use of AI rise, lawmakers and government agencies are looking to take a unified approach to address them head-on, including enforcing existing laws to uphold fairness and justice.

Article Summary

  • Axios and CNBC: A study from researchers at M.I.T. and Stanford found that the use of generative AI within a customer service department improved productivity. AI was able to provide real-time suggestions and help lower-skilled employees be more successful. This study comes at a time when many believe that AI can help streamline the hiring game and boost retention.
  • Microsoft: As we continue into the era of AI, many companies are utilizing the Microsoft Cloud and have put themselves in the best position to take advantage of the advancements that the new technology has to offer.
  • New York Times: As AI continues to grow, it is learning language through algorithms and training from mountains of text in order to produce writing that sounds authentic. Enjoy an interactive walkthrough that highlights how AI learns to mimic Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and more.

Featured Podcast


  • Marketplace Tech Podcast 
    We’ve been talking this week about the call to slow down artificial intelligence development. There are those who say we need time to mitigate its potential harms and those who think this discourse overhypes the technology. Others, like Will Rinehart, a senior fellow at Utah State University’s Center for Growth and Opportunity, argue that a pause now could do more harm than good. Marketplace’s Meghan McCarty Carino spoke to Rinehart about the potential damage he feels could be caused by a temporary halt to the work. (Could pausing AI development do more harm than good?  – April 7, 2023)