Acquisition of Activision-Blizzard in danger?PlayStation sows disagreement

Microsoft stands in front of a new serious obstacle in taking over Activision-Blizzard and PlayStation counterarguments are questioned.

One step forward, two steps back.Perhaps the takeover of Activision-Blizzard has already been approved in two countries, the most difficult is to do: convince the main regulators.However, the Office for Competition and Markets (CMA), the British Competition Office, does not perceive this marriage too favorably.And PlayStation is partly responsible.

British regulator against take-up of Activision-Blizzard

Sony’s arguments were heard.While Jim Ryan would go to Brussels to present the dangers of taking over Activision-Blizzard by Microsoft, the British regulator did not remain insensitive to this call for help.CMA, the competent authority in the case, is more on the side of the blue sign, taking into account that this historical takeover actually poses a threat to competition.

“There is a real perspective of a significant reduction in competition on the video game market, Subscription services of many games and services Cloud Gaming explains CMA in its analytical document.The English authority assumes that the console with lots of players attracts more content, which in turn attracts more people.That is why the issue of Call of Duty’s exclusivity is still coming again.If Xbox would check the billion series in check, it would be the snowball effect.

CMA is afraid that complete control over such a powerful catalog, especially in light, a strong position in game consoles, operating systems and cloud infrastructure can cause Microsoft to harm consumers.Humming the competitiveness of Sony (his closest rival in games), as well as other existing competitors and potential new players who could otherwise bring healthy competition thanks to subscriptions of many games and playing in cloud services.

Microsoft defends itself, PlayStation beautifies its arguments

CMA fears also apply to Xbox Game Pass.The takeover of Activision-Blizzard would actually allow Microsoft to offer a service so powerful that other players would be difficult to compete with her.After merging, the company with Redmond could then significantly increase the number of subscribers thanks to strong licenses on the day of release.

The takeover of Activision-Blizzard, therefore, the initial approval phase has not passed.The decision, which Microsoft protests, claiming that these “unjustified theories” are not enough to justify the phase 2. “The Redmond company underestimates the prejudices of Sony, which it considers” inappropriate “.For her, Sony does not have to be afraid of her position on the market.He is a leader with over 150 million consoles, compared to 63.7 million on the Xbox side.This leadership even allowed him to raise the price of PS5 “without fear of losing market share.»

“The idea that the historic market leader, with a clear and permanent power, can be denied by the third most important player only by losing access to the game, is not reliable,” explains Microsoft in columns

.The green brand emphasizes again that even if all Call of Duty players remained on Xbox ”, the PlayStation players base will remain much larger than Xbox.If Sony does not accept increased competition, it has the ability to adapt and compete.»

A decision that is contrary to healthy competition

Microsoft also reminds that in terms of PlayStation content, 280 exclusive products offered only 2021, five times more than Xbox.”Sony is not susceptible to a hypothetical exclusive strategy, and the wrong decision is based on the calculated Sony arguments, which significantly exaggerate the importance of Call of Duty and neglects consideration of his ability to respond competitively ..»

And if you didn’t do it well twenty times, yes, Call of Duty will remain on PS5 and PS4.Microsoft also believes that the decision of the British organ is contrary to healthy competition.If players decided to leave PlayStation in favor of Xbox, it would be because the green brand would provide a larger selection of ways to buy games.

If consumers decide to move from a platform that does not give them a choice of how to pay for new games (PlayStation) to one that does it (Xbox), this is a kind of change of behavior that CMA should consider as a healthy improvement, and even toencourage her.This is not something she should try to prevent.