A Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) investigation in the UK has provisionally concluded that the proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard King by Microsoft could decrease player choice and allow for less innovation. The investigation was conducted over the past five months including hearings with Microsoft and Activision leaders and the analysis of over 3 million documents from the two companies. Also included in the investigation was input from other gaming console providers, game publishers, and cloud gaming service providers.
Microsoft already expected the UK to oppose the acquisition of Activision, a stance they never officially announced in public but was widely reported.
The CMA found that key games such as Call of Duty were important in driving console competition and that Microsoft would find it commercially advantageous to make such flagship games exclusive, or at the very least give consoles such as Sony's PlayStation a worse situation in obtaining the games.
In terms of cloud gaming, the CMA found that Microsoft already accounts for 60-70% of the cloud gaming services with Xbox, Windows, Azure, and Xbox Cloud Gaming.
"Our job is to make sure that UK gamers are not caught in the crossfire of global deals that, over time, could damage competition and result in higher prices, fewer choices, or less innovation. We have provisionally found that this may be the case here," the CMA said of these findings.
Microsoft will undoubtedly continue with the acquisition attempt, but more roadblocks and red tape are beginning to pile up for them to overcome.
These provisional findings haven't stopped analysts Nick McKay and Michael Pachter from thinking the deal will go through, though. In fact, they believe these "provisional" findings indicate the CMA probably knows it doesn't have a legal case to stand on.
While all of this is going on, Blizzard is celebrating its 32nd birthday today.
Today is our 32nd birthday! 🎂
Whether you played your first Blizzard game 30 years ago or yesterday, we're thankful to share our legendary worlds with you. 💙 ❄️ pic.twitter.com/m7hW5PCfme
— Blizzard Entertainment (@Blizzard_Ent) February 8, 2023
under investigation by the state of California for serious harassment charges. CEO Bobby Kotick is alleged to have known about such actions within his company – and performed some himself – and shielded the perpetrators from consequences.Activision Blizzard is still
About the Author
Troy “Noobfridge” Blackburn has been reporting on the video game industry for over a decade. Whether it’s news, editorials, gameplay videos, or streams, Noobfridge never fails to present his honest opinion whether those hot takes prove to be popular or not.
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