– Published on 09/02/2022 at 10:10
The British competition authority has expressed doubts about the consequences of the takeover of Actvision Blizzard by Microsoft, which is still far from complete.
Microsoft’s announced acquisition of Activision Blizzard last January is being scrutinized very closely. The most expensive acquisition in the history of video games, the operation must be greenlit by various competition authorities before it can be completed. And far from it, as the British Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) still has doubts.
Microsoft and Activision Blizzard: British authorities are putting pressure
Yesterday, the British Competition Authority announced the launch of a “thorough investigation” into the takeover of Activision Blizzard. In particular, the CMA expresses concern that Microsoft could “abuse its position with popular games such as Call of Duty and World of Warcraft to harm competitors, including recent rivals.” But that’s not all :
The CMA also received evidence of the potential impact of Activision Blizzard’s connection to the wider Microsoft ecosystem. Microsoft already has the leading gaming console (Xbox), the leading cloud computing platform (Azure), and the first PC operating system (Windows OS), all of which could be essential to its cloud gaming success. The CMA is concerned that Microsoft is using Activision Blizzard games and Microsoft’s strengths in consoles, cloud computing and PC operating systems to undermine competition in the nascent cloud gaming market. – CMA press release.
Microsoft and Activision Blizzard now have five days to submit proposals to address these issues. The Redmond company is always trying to show its integrity, in particular by confirming that Call of Duty games will continue to be released on the PlayStation.
We are ready to work with CMA on the next steps and resolve any issues. Sony, as an industry leader, is concerned about Call of Duty, but we have stated that we are committed to making the same game available on the same day on Xbox and PlayStation. We want people to have more access to games, not less. – Brad Smith, president and vice president of Microsoft.