It would be a striking show of leniency by a notoriously tough regulator. The E.U. has been among the most aggressive in policing Big Tech, having fined companies like Google billions and forced changes in their business practices. But in recent years, American regulators like the F.T.C., under Lina Khan, have gone even further, pushing back against takeovers by tech giants, and openly questioning whether they should get even bigger.
Microsoft and others are left trying to navigate an increasingly complicated thicket of global rules, where regulators are coming to very different conclusions about the same issues. And given the size and importance of the British, European and U.S. markets, simply ignoring any one of them is impossible.
The deal’s future is clearer, and bleaker, if the E.U. rejects it. Microsoft and Activision are already appealing the decisions by the F.T.C. and the C.M.A.; overturning the British regulator’s decision is expected to be especially tough. (The body that will weigh the C.M.A. appeal could take months, and will review only whether the regulator’s decision followed proper procedures.)
Fighting a third battle — especially against a regulator that overwhelmingly tends to succeed in appeals — would only make an especially difficult fight that much harder.
HERE’S WHAT’S HAPPENING
Twitter gets heat for silencing Turkey-related tweets. Critics accused the social network of kowtowing to Turkey’s hard-line leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, by blocking some politically themed posts in the country ahead of its election; the company said it was responding to “legal process.” As for the results: A runoff is set for May 28 after Mr. Erdogan failed to win a majority of the vote.