UK: Microsoft Acquires Activision Blizzard Hurts Competition

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The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is not a fan of the pending merger between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard.

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One key argument made by the CMA is Microsoft’s presence in PC operating and cloud systems. Their report states that Microsoft already accounts for 60 to 70 percent of global cloud gaming services.

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The investigation does not mention Phil Spencer’s intentions to keep Call of Duty multiplatform. Spencer recently announced a new deal to keep the popular FPS franchise on Nintendo franchises for the foreseeable future.

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Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, is on the record in his attempts to keep the franchise on Sony platforms. “As long as there’s a PlayStation,” he’s stated, “we’ll ship Call of Duty there.”

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Sony’s concern with the Microsoft deal is a belief that no one can compete with Call of Duty. Other publishers disagreed, saying they could, or Sony already has strong franchises under their umbrella.

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THE UK CMA BELIEVES AN APPROVED MERGER WILL RESULT IN FAR MORE XBOX CONSOLES SOLD Based on their research, the CMA says that Microsoft will find it beneficial to make Call of Duty an Xbox exclusive. This goes against what we’ve previously reported: Microsoft’s intentions to keep the franchise multiplatform.

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“The CMA’s provision findings note that this strategy, of buying gaming studios and making their content exclusive to Microsoft’s platforms, has been used by Microsoft following several previous acquisitions of games studios,”

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There is one exception: Elder Scrolls Online. As the game is a persistently online game, Microsoft has ensured that it will continue to release on supported platforms, including PlayStation.

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