It seems even the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is having a hard time assessing whether or not Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard will be a good thing for the gaming industry.
As noted in a report, the CMA has now solicited public opinion on the proposed acquisition to see how consumers feel about Call of Duty potentially becoming an Xbox-exclusive franchise in the future, Sony’s dispute over the deal, and such further.
“Here we invite everyone, including the public, to share their views with us,” the CMA said.
The report continues: “If we believe that the merger may have adverse competitive effects, we also consider possible solutions to those concerns (known as ‘remedial actions’).”
The CMA’s full report is crammed with a lot of legal paperwork, but it also says bluntly, “If we find no competition concerns, the deal can go ahead as planned. If we find any competition concerns, we decide how to address them. This may include, for example, selling part of the business or prohibiting the merger altogether.”
What the CMA is currently investigating in this acquisition includes the following:
“Full exclusivity: the potential for Microsoft to limit the availability of Activision content on other consoles
Timed Exclusivity: The potential for Microsoft to delay showing Activision content on other consoles
Lower Quality: The potential for Microsoft to offer lower quality options for Activision content on other consoles, e.g. B. No access to features or upgrades available on Microsoft devices
Pricing: the potential for Microsoft to increase prices for Activision content on other console gaming platforms”