Activision takeover: British authority rules out concerns about console market

The UK competition authority has cleared most of the concerns about Microsoft’s takeover of Activision. One point remains critical.

In relation to the takeover of the game’s publisher Activision Blizzard by Microsoft, the British competition and markets authority, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), has withdrawn most of its concerns in a preliminary finding. The CMA is now less critical of the deal, which was previously classified as a major disadvantage for British gamers, due to a “considerable amount of new evidence”. The completion of the planned record takeover is therefore only one point in the way from Great Britain, which will be further examined in detail.

The exclusive strategy would result in a significant loss of consoles

“After carefully reviewing the new evidence and a wealth of information,” the CMA has significantly reduced its concerns, the agency said in a press release. One had come to the preliminary conclusion that there was no financial advantage for an exclusive release on Microsoft’s own consoles. According to the announcement, the CMA has data that offers a better insight into the actual purchasing behavior of “Call of Duty” players. After its evaluation, the authority came to the conclusion that an exclusive strategy would in any case lead to “considerable losses”.

The shooter series from “Call of Duty” and possible exclusive marketing by Microsoft have been brought up several times by Sony in order to forbid the takeover by the authorities. The CMA states that after reviewing the new evidence, the merger “will not result in a significant impediment to competition in console games.” “The costs that Microsoft would incur if “Call of Duty” were to be withheld from the Playstation would outweigh the distributors of such a measure,” the agency said.

Cloud gaming is still in the sights of the authorities

However, there are still concerns and the new assessment does not affect investigations into the cloud gaming business. Microsoft already holds a global market share of 60 to 70 percent in cloud gaming, which the CMA considers extremely important for acquiring new customers. The British authority intends to present the final report by April 26th.

After making concessions, Microsoft recently received a positive outlook for the record takeover from the EU Commission, which intends to announce its final decision on April 25th. The US competition authority FTC wants to prevent the deal with a lawsuit. The “Diablo 4” longingly awaited by fans would also be transferred to Microsoft in the takeover; “Diablo 4” began this weekend with an open beta test, which caused problems due to the massive rush, accompanied by sometimes long waiting times for the players.


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