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UK says Xbox and Activision merger won’t hurt competition on consoles

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The latest development in Microsoft’s long pursuit to officially acquire Activision Blizzard for $69 billion is good news for Xbox. On March 24, 2023, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) concluded that the merger of the Xbox and Activision Blizzards brands would not create an unfair competition scenario in the console games industry, for which she had previously expressed serious concerns. . on.

Theme of Concern has been one of Activision Blizzard’s biggest and most popular franchises, Call of Duty. Sony claimed that Microsoft’s acquisition of the franchise would essentially create a situation where Microsoft would make future game titles exclusive to the Xbox ecosystem. As a result, according to Sony, the PlayStation user base will abandon the Sony console to play it on Xbox.

Sony reps went so far as to say that Microsoft might intentionally sabotage the PlayStation versions of the game Call of Duty.

Microsoft has long had measures in place to counter these Sony claims, suggesting that making the first-person shooter franchise exclusive to Xbox wouldn’t make financial sense for them. They also gave guarantees that ensured the future Call of Duty It will continue to come to PlayStation platforms, as well as Nintendo platforms, for at least 10 years. Microsoft highlighted the fact that this deal will carry over into the next generation of consoles and also give PlayStation plenty of time to develop its own exclusives. Call of Duty competitor, if desired.

The AMC has now agreed, saying the evidence indicates the Xbox acquisition would be a “significant loss under any reasonable scenario”, as told to VGC.

“After reviewing the additional evidence presented, we have now tentatively concluded that a merger will not materially lessen competition in console game services due to the cost to Microsoft of blocking Call of Duty of PlayStation would outweigh any gain resulting from such action.

While that doesn’t mean Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard has been approved by the CMA yet, it does mean it’s more likely as the regulator now has fewer concerns about the deal.

The CMA said it was still concerned about Xbox’s potential impact on the cloud gaming market, although Microsoft is also taking precautionary measures in this area, including a 10-year deal with the games company. in cloud Boosteroid.

The CMA is expected to close by April 26, 2023. The Microsoft and Activision Blizzard deal will still need to overcome additional hurdles with market regulators, including with the European Commission, which recently delayed its decision until May 22, 2023.

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