In these hours Microsoft e Sony have officially responded to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the British anti-trust authority which last September launched the second phase of its investigations into the complex and onerous acquisition of Activision-Blizzard by the Redmond company .
Sony, Microsoft’s main competitor in the console market, in no way wants the purchase of Activision-Blizzard to go through and it is trying everything to convince the international anti-trust authorities to withhold their approval. At the CMA, for example, he presented a document with 22 pages full of arguments against the agreement. Sony fears that Xbox could become the only platform to host the most famous shooter franchises of all time, including Call of Duty and Overwatch, thus inducing millions of players to abandon the shores of PlayStation. He also believes that Microsoft’s goal is to turn PlayStation into Nintendo, which is a less difficult competitor for Xbox.
In Redmond, however, they push in the opposite direction, and are trying to convince the antitrust to give the green light to the agreement, which almost a year after the announcement still appears to be a distant mirage. For this purpose Microsoft has tried to explain that the acquisition of Activision-Blizzard would not hurt Sony and Nintendo; on the contrary, it would finally allow Xbox to compete on equal terms. In recent months, Microsoft representatives have tried to outline the profile of a small and not very influential company when compared with the two Japanese realities. In the document sent yesterday to the CMA, they tried to explain that even if Call of Duty became exclusive, it would not be enough to bridge the gap with Sony and Nintendo, which would have more commercially successful and better quality exclusives.
In sub-section 3.67, specifically, Microsoft representatives have clearly written that “Sony has more exclusives than Xbox, some of which are better quality”adding that exclusive deals “aren’t uncommon,” considering Sony also has its big exclusive games like God of War and The Last of Us.
Then, bringing up Nintendo again, they added: “Both Sony and Nintendo have exclusive first-party games that are among the best sellers in Europe and worldwide. […] In addition to these exclusive contents, Sony has also entered into agreements with third-party publishers that provide for the exclusion of Xbox from the set of platforms on which those publishers can publish their games”.