Microsoft continues to push forward with its planned acquisition of Activision, despite challenges from regulatory agencies. Today it received some good news from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority.
The UK Competition and Markets Authority requested feedback from the public on Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard. The regulatory group reviewed responses from over 2,100 and 75% were in favor of the acquisition.
Below are some of the views expressed by the respondents:
- Sony and Nintendo are stronger than Microsoft in console gaming, and the Merger will help Microsoft to compete more closely against them.
- The Merger will not harm rival consoles because Microsoft has made public and private commitments to keep Activision content, including Call of Duty, non-exclusive. The availability of Minecraft on rival consoles shows that Microsoft’s commercial strategy is not to make games exclusive; 1 The CMA received approximately 2,600 emails, but some of these were excluded from our review because they contained abusive content (with no other substantive content), or were blank, unintelligible, stated to be from non-UK consumers, or not in English.
- It is unlikely that Microsoft would make Call of Duty exclusive due to its multiplayer nature. Making Call of Duty exclusive to Xbox would only create a gap in the market that could be filled by a rival cross-platform shooter game.
- Call of Duty has competition from a number of other games including Battlefield (Electronic Arts), Grand Theft Auto (Take Two), and FIFA (Electronic Arts).
- The Merger will push Sony to innovate, such as by improving its subscription service or creating more games to compete with Call of Duty.
- The Merger is a reaction to Sony’s business model for PlayStation, which has historically involved securing exclusive content or early access to popular cross-platform gaming franchises, such as Final Fantasy and Silent Hill.
- Microsoft’s plans to add Call of Duty to Game Pass are pro-competitive and will lower the price of accessing games for consumers.
- Microsoft would not make Activision’s content exclusive to Xbox post-merger because it would lose significant potential revenue from rival platforms.
- Consumers could revert to buying games on a buy-to-play basis if Microsoft were to raise the price of Game Pass post-Merger.
- The Merger will lead to more funding and higher-quality games in the industry.
- The Merger will allow Microsoft to provide Activision with better guidance and leadership, and encourage it to invest more in games other than Call of Duty.
- The Merger is pro-competitive in the mobile segment because it will create new options for mobile gamers and allow Microsoft to compete against Google and Apple, which are the two dominant mobile platforms.
- The Merger will not create competition concerns in cloud gaming services because there are other potential competitors, such as Netflix.
- Some industry participants have said they are not opposed to the Merger.
This is certainly an interesting development and may pave the way for approval of the acquisition in the UK.