The takeover of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft / Xbox will it succeed? The UK regulator has updated its provisional conclusion. Is Call of Duty still in game?
Although countries have issued favorable opinions on the takeover of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft, others have kicked in touch the time to study the file in depth. After weeks of fairly negative statements, new hope for Xbox ?
The takeover of Activision Blizzard by Xbox validated?
For months, two countries have opposed the takeover of Activision Blizzard. First the United States with the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), the American antitrust which monitors compliance with competition rules, which was ready to torpedo the acquisition . She seems to have watered down her wine, and even if there is no conclusion, the opinion could ultimately be favorable.
Then, it is the CMA (Competition and Markets Authority), the British regulatory authority, which winced because of Call of Duty . For this entity, the takeover of Activision Blizzard would offer Xbox a too comfortable position, which could harm other players like PlayStation who are fighting against this deal. In its argument, the CMA feared higher prices, less innovation and less choice, not to mention Microsoft’s possible monopoly in the cloud gaming sector.
Except a few weeks later, it’s not the same story anymore. After studying new evidence, the CMA no longer believes in an anti-competitive risk if Activision Blizzard goes under the fold of Xbox.
And the risk of monopoly on cloud gaming?
If we translate, Microsoft will therefore not risk letting go of all the greenbacks generated by CoD on PlayStation consoles. A scenario that normally suits the firm, since many times the company has repeated that Call of Duty will not be an Xbox exclusive . To prove it, the manufacturer signed a contract with Nintendo to bring the FPS to Big N’s machines for 10 years. In its provisional conclusion, the CMA seems to rule out the three tracks it had itself given, namely validation only on condition of forgetting Call of Duty, Activision or Activision Blizzard to buy only King (Candy Crush ) .
And what about the CMA’s reservations about a possible monopoly in the cloud gaming market ? On this point, the authority has not yet changed its mind and the conclusion formulated above does not apply. We will have their verdict at the end of April.
In order to reassure the regulatory authorities vis-à-vis this market, Microsoft has made two agreements. The first with Nvidia to bring Xbox games to the GeForce Now service . The second with the company Boosteroid so that it can also have access to the catalog of MS and Activision Blizzard. In either case, the contract has a duration of 10 years.