UK officials disagreed with Microsoft’s deal with Activision Blizzard and moved to a second phase of contract analysis to ensure that the Americans’ purchase would not negatively impact the game industry. After the release of the statement explaining the CMA’s decision, Microsoft responded to the allegations and directed the allegations against it.
The Competition and Markets Authority intends to take a closer look at the arrangements for the acquisition of Activision BlizzardWith a special focus on customer well-being and market competitiveness. In a recent document, the CMA outlined its concerns about a significant vulnerability to PlayStation and other subscription offerings. The Brits point out that with a combination of this powerful enterprise and its own technologies at its disposal, Microsoft could unofficially outperform its competitors – including Google, Amazon and NVIDIA – in terms of streaming.
“There is a realistic prospect of severely restricting competition in game consoles, multi-game subscription services, and services focused on cloud gaming.” “
“The CMA is concerned that complete control of this powerful catalog, especially in light of Microsoft’s already strong position in game consoles, operating systems and cloud infrastructure, could cause Microsoft to injure consumers by undermining the ability of Sony, Microsoft’s closest competitor in this field of games. To compete, as well as other existing competitors and potential new entrants, to offer healthy competition through innovative multi-game subscriptions and cloud services.”
The CMA notes that Activision Blizzard productions can boost catalogs of individual subscriptions, for example Xbox Game Pass, but that currently new products do not appear automatically from the day they are first shown in the service. After a confirmed purchase, Americans may decide to take such a step – and this will greatly affect the decisions of the industry and players.
“The CMA acknowledges that the latest ABK games are not currently available on any subscription service at launch, but believes that this may change as subscription services continue to evolve.” to harm the competitiveness of its competitors.”
Microsoft counters the published arguments, Pointing out that “unfounded harm theories are not enough” for the authority to start the second phase of reviewing the contract and not approving the deal.
Company officials believe that all of the CMA’s concerns about the impact on PlayStation are “misplaced”. The company points to Sony’s position as the leader in the gaming market – the company has a base of 150 million players, while the Xbox can achieve a much lower score (63.7 million).
The Americans noted the recent actions of the PlayStation producer – Sony, as an industry leader, can raise the price of its console “without fear of losing market share.”
“The suggestion that the current market leader, with clear and sustainable market strength, could be disqualified by the third largest supplier as a result of losing access to a single address is unreliable,” Microsoft argues.
The Redmond giant notes that even if it takes over Call of Duty, it will still “have a much larger PlayStation player base than Xbox.” In 2021, Sony guaranteed its customers more than 280 exclusive first- and third-party titles – nearly five times more than Microsoft.
In short, Sony is not prone to a hypothetical foreclosure strategy and the decision to assign erroneously relies on Sony’s self-preservation statements that greatly exaggerate the importance of Call of Duty and overlook Sony’s apparent ability to respond.
“While Sony may not have the increased competition, it does have the ability to adapt and compete. Gamers will ultimately benefit from this increased competition and choice.”
According to the Americans, Call of Duty will remain on PlayStation consoles, and changing the decision will have a very negative impact on Xbox and the popular brand.
The company’s owners assure that if players are accessing Xbox consoles instead of PlayStation consoles, it’s not because of Call of Duty, but because of the many opportunities to buy and acquire games.
“If any consumer decides to switch from a gaming platform that doesn’t give them a choice about how they pay for new games (PlayStation) to one that gives (Xbox), it’s the kind of consumer behavior to change the resource that the CMA should consider conducive to good, and indeed [powinno do niego – przyp. red.] Encourage. This is not something the CMA should try to prevent.
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