After a possibly historic cancellation of the takeover, Microsoft and Activision Blizzard react
Published on 23/12/2022 at 17:43
At the beginning of December, the Federal Trade Commission decided to veto the acquisition of Activision-Blizzard by Microsoft. A decision that made the two main interested parties react.
“Our sector is experiencing enormous competition”An acquisition far from complete
“Our sector is experiencing enormous competition”
It’s a beautiful looping fall that is looming for 2022 since it generally begins as it ended. On January 18, Microsoft announced to the whole world the acquisition of Activision Blizzard for $67.8 billion. A record amount in video game history. Finally, try to buy back since this agreement has been the subject of numerous investigations around the world for several months. If the Brazil and Saudi Arabia have given the green light, it is far from being won for Microsoft in the eyes of the European Commission or the Federal Trade Commission in the United States: it is the latter which monitors compliance with consumer rights and is in particular responsible for investigating takeovers in order to verify that they do not jeopardize the right to competition. For example, it was she who imposed two historic fines on Epic Games for deceiving its players via Fortnite. As part of the acquisition of Activision-Blizzard by Microsoft, the federal organization simply vetoed. Enough to provoke a 37-page response from the Redmond firm with the statements of Brad Smith (vice-president of Microsoft) but also of Bobby Kotick (current CEO of Activision-Blizzard) to the media The Verge:
While we are confident in our case, we remain committed to finding creative solutions with regulators that will protect competition, consumers and tech workers. As we have learned from our trials in the past, the door never closes on the opportunity to find an agreement that can benefit everyone.
There is no reasonable and legitimate reason to prevent the conclusion of our transaction. Our sector has enormous competition and few barriers to entry. There have never been so many devices allowing gamers to have a wide range of choices when playing games. Engines and tools are freely available to developers large and small. The breadth of game distribution options has never been greater. We think we’re going to win on the merits.
An acquisition far from complete
In this response to the Federal Trade Commission, Microsoft returns to the many arguments raised over the past few months. To justify that the video game industry will continue to do well after this acquisition, the firm behind Xbox explains that it is behind its direct competitors (Nintendo and Sony) in terms of income, exclusivities (in volume but also in quality. An argument to also explain its delay vis-à-vis the mobile market: Phil Spencer, boss of Xbox, had even indicated that the takeover of Activision-Blizzard had been motivated by the mobile as one of the main assets of the company.
Obviously, these are figures probably taken from reality but which make Xbox and Microsoft look smaller than they are. Behind the scenes seem agitated the Redmond firm at the origin of many initiatives to push the validation of this takeover. One of the latest? The agreements signed with Nintendo and Steam to guarantee the presence of the Call of Duty saga on these platforms in the coming years.
In any case, the agreement between Microsoft and Activision-Blizzard is not yet done as some players want prevent acquisition from happening.