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  • Daily business and finance update 18th July 2023

Daily business and finance update 18th July 2023

Microsoft edges closer to gaming deal

Good morning. Today we're talking about Microsoft closes in on gaming deal, Russia takes over Western food and drink companies and new Brexit polling.

Big Stories

Microsoft edges closer to gaming deal

Bitter gaming rivals Microsoft and Sony reached an agreement that would keep the Call of Duty franchise on PlayStation devices for the next 10 years. The agreement is intended to quash concerns that Microsoft would use its acquisition of Activision, the creator of Call of Duty, to make the game exclusive to Xbox, a possibility that was at the heart of competition regulators' challenges to Microsoft’s $70bn purchase of the game maker. Meanwhile yesterday Microsoft’s appeal against the UK competition authority's block on the deal was formally paused to give both parties more time to resolve the dispute. It comes after the US competition regulator, who also opposed the tie-up, suffered a major defeat when a federal court rejected its proposal to temporarily halt the deal.

Russian food and drink takeover

Russia has taken control of the Russian subsidiaries of French food giant Danone and Danish brewer Carlsberg. The move comes as part of a new law that allows the Russian government to seize the assets of foreign companies that it deems to be “unfriendly". Danone and Carlsberg had both announced plans to exit the Russian market following the country's invasion of Ukraine. However, the new law means that they will no longer be able to sell their Russian operations. In recent months, the Kremlin has also taken control of the Russian subsidiaries of McDonald's and Nissan. The takeovers have been met with criticism from Western governments, who have accused Russia of using the law as a way to retaliate against companies that have pulled out of the country in response to the war in Ukraine.

Changing Brexit views

More than half of Brits would vote to rejoin the European Union for the first time since the nation opted to leave the bloc seven years ago, YouGov polling showed. Some 51% of Britons told the polling company that they would vote for the UK to become an EU member again, while 32% said they’d stay out, according to the survey conducted last week. At the time of the 2016 referendum, 52% of voters voted to leave the EU, while 48% voted to remain. The proportion in favour of rejoining has risen 11 points since January 2021, when Brexit formally took place. The findings reflect growing disillusionment among British voters about Brexit, which triggered years of divisive debate in Parliament before the UK finally left the bloc.


Raising standards: Universities could be restricted in recruiting students to poor quality courses, under new government plans.

Trending down: Meta’s new Twitter clone Threads has seen user engagement drop off steeply, according to analysts.

Back on strike: The train drivers’ union Aslef has announced another week of summer industrial action.

Grain pain: Russia said it was suspending its participation in a crucial deal that allowed the export of Ukrainian grain, stoking fears of food shortages.

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The number of brands the new Barbie film has collaborated with. Original toymaker Mattel either receiving a flat fee or somewhere between a 5-15% cut of sales.

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