On 17th January 2023, the industry regulator, the Bar Standards Board decided to hand down an order imposing a ban on a barrister preventing him from continuing to practise after evidence emerged
“Earth-shaking” Deal As COD And Candy Crush Creator Taken Over By Microsoft
What Has Happened?
On 18th of January 2022 news emerged of Internet heavyweight Microsoft signing a merger and acquisition deal with gaming titan Activision Blizzard. The arrangement is thought to be worth around £51.3 million.
What Does It Mean?
For Microsoft the purchase is the largest merger and acquisition activity in its history, and it will be apparently wholly financed in cash. Tech Giant Activision, which has leading brands such as Call of Duty, CandyCrush and World of Warcraft under its umbrella, has welcomed the news of the takeover as it has provided welcome relief from numerous negative headlines which had been plaguing the troubled organisation recently. Activision Blizzard has grappled with a free-falling share-price which nosedived by nearly fifty-percent over the previous year, exacerbated by countless media reports highlighting the cocktail of supply-chain, delivery and pandemic-related issues blighting the organisation along with allegations of discrimination and sexual harassment which have left decision-makers going spare. The situation was not helped by a noticeable drop-off in demand with many analysts previously delivering the death knell to the company by accusing it of losing its touch.
The much-needed announcement from Activisation Blizzard’s perspective must feel miraculous. It seemingly caused a rebounding of its share-price by bouncing it to $95-per-share. For context this was an estimated increase of 36% from its position prior to the day's trading and nearly 30% from when the markets opened on 18th January 2022.
Microsoft have seemingly played the proverbial blinder with this coup with many perceiving its investment as money well spent as it now has a vehicle to be a leading player in the metaverse and to deepen its roots in the gaming and console sector.
What Impact Could This Have on the Legal Profession?
For lawyers this is a potentially significant development provides an opportunity to discuss some of the legal challenges posed by the metaverse. For those who are unfamiliar the term is a combination of the prefix“meta”, defined as the “universe” and the stem-word “verse” meaning “universe”. Lawyers are bound to be faced with the issues brought about by the metaverse. The real problem is uncertainty. Nobody can predict the future. There is not a soul who can anticipate with anything resembling certainty the legal problems that will emerge in the Metaverse and there are even fewer people who have every solution to all potentially emerging problems.
However, some current areas may provide a glimpse into what should be considered. This article focusses on the important area of privacy and data protection. It is trite that the original data protection legislation was designed for a recent by-gone when filing cabinets were popular. Laws were then revamped for the internet era. Looking ahead there is growing speculation about how these laws may be rendered obsolete in the metaverse age and it poses a jurisdictional challenge. Lawyers will need to approach the jurisdiction question cautiously when assessing which data laws govern the metaverse. Will they be US state law such as California or New York? Will the General Data Protection Regulation apply as is the situation in Europe and the United Kingdom? Lawyers will also be at the forefront in the development of this space as it is unclear how privacy will be governed. For example keeping metaverse privacy notices updated to protect affected party positions in this challenging landscape.
However, like the current situation the metaverse may have terms and conditions governing which jurisdiction governs the metaverse, data protection and privacy notices. Presently commercial businesses have their own policies and procedures in place governing what happens if a specified event occurs. A company policy may make it clear that a customer is not entitled to a refund. This area is sure to keep lawyers awake at night over the next decades as the technology develops and the Microsoft acquisition may be pointing to the direction of travel.
#ReedSmith #Fieldfisher #pwc #deloitte #bird&bird #NortonRoseFulbright #TraversSmith #Shearman&Sterling #HerbertSmithFreehills #BurgesSalmon #dwf #HoganLovells #White&Case
This Article was Written Using the Following Sources
 Microsoft News Center – Microsoft to acquire Activision Blizzard to bring the joy and community of gaming to everyone, across every device – 18 January 2022 - Microsoft to acquire Activision Blizzard to bring the joy and community of gaming to everyone, across every device - Stories
 Konstantinovic – Microsoft’s Activision acquisition is earth-shaking for the video game industry – 19 January 2022 - Microsoft’s Activision acquisition is earth-shaking for the video game industry - Insider Intelligence Trends, Forecasts & Statistics (emarketer.com)
 Allsup, Maeve – Microsoft to Inherit Activision’s Legal Woes in Gaming Megadeal – Bloomberg Law – 19 January 2022 - Microsoft to Inherit Activision’s Legal Woes in Gaming Megadeal (bloomberglaw.com)
 Bass, Dina – Microsoft Buys Scandal-Tainted Activision in Bet on Metaverse – 18 January 2022 - Microsoft Buys Scandal-Tainted Activision in Bet on Metaverse (bloomberglaw.com)
 Patnaik, Subrat – Microsoft to gobble up Activision in $69 billion metaverse bet – 19 January 2022 - Microsoft to gobble up Activision in $69 billion metaverse bet | Reuters
 Kim, Taw – Is America’s Biggest Video Game Maker Losing Its Magic? – Bloomberg – 04 October 2021 - Is America’s Biggest Video Game Maker Losing Its Magic? (bloombergquint.com)
 Grind, Kirsten et al. – Activision CEO Bobby Kotick Knew for Years About Sexual-Misconduct Allegations at Videogame Giant – Wall Street Journal - 16 November 2021 - Activision CEO Bobby Kotick Knew for Years About Sexual-Misconduct Allegations at Videogame Giant - WSJ
 Farooqui, Jordan – Fake world problems: How data mining, online trolls and age-control will challenge the metaverse economy – Proactive investors – 26 January 2022 - Fake world problems: How data mining, online trolls and age-control will challenge the metaverse economy (proactiveinvestors.co.uk)
 Pryor, Gregor et al – Reed Smith guide to the Metaverse – 19 May 2021 - Reed Smith Guide to the Metaverse | Reed Smith LLP
 General Data Protection Regulation - General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – Official Legal Text (gdpr-info.eu)
 Gallagher, Dan – Microsoft should play Antitrust Game Well – 27 January 2022 - Microsoft Should Play Antitrust Game Well - WSJ
 Gallagher, Dan – Microsoft Will Still Need to Do Activision’s Duty – Wall Street Journal – 18 January 2022 - Microsoft Will Still Need to Do Activision’s Duty - WSJ